By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – It took 100 firefighters about an hour and a half to get the upper hand on a blaze that gutted a Koreatown karaoke bar and pool hall at 207 S. Vermont Ave. on Thursday.

The Los Angeles Fire Department said they were actually able to get crews inside the building at first, but the intensity of the fire grew in the attic.

Crews cut some holes in the roof, but the flames spread too fast and firefighters were forced to pull back. Shortly thereafter, the roof collapsed.

“All of our members on the inside, they recognized the signs that this was not gonna be a fire they were gonna get a hold of, and the roof companies that were up on top, they were already feeling the roof was getting soft,” said Steve Hissong, Incident Commander with LAFD.

Witness John Wesley said it’s not the first time this strip mall has seen what he referred to as “odd fires.”

“Full flames, and it looked like something that was close to getting out of control,” he said. “It was kinda odd because that business has been closed for a long time and this plaza here has seen a couple of odd fires through the years.”

In fact, the same strip mall suffered a greater-alarm fire in May 2020.

No one was inside the business at the time, but the fire department said because there were individual stage areas built out in the for the karaoke bar, there was a lot of material to burn.

Arson investigators are looking into what might’ve caused the fire.

No injuries were reported.