South Pasadena firefighters were called to San Gabriel where they supported crews extinguishing a massive fire early Wednesday morning at a strip mall.
Three restaurants were lost in the blaze as the mall was fully engulfed at about 6:20 a.m. at the Valley & New Center. Fire officials watched as the roof of the structure gave way.
Captain Anthony Anthony Porraz said two members of the South Pasadena Fire Department went to the incident in San Gabriel. Local personnel were asked to refill oxygen tanks worn by firefighters as they got close to the flames.
“Once filled, the firefighters were ready to go back in,” explained Porraz.
Joining South Pasadena at the fire were crews from San Gabriel, Pasadena, San Marino and Alhambra. More than 85 area fire firefighters were called into action, pouring gallons of water onto the burning structure.
Motorists traveling along the 10, 60 and 210 freeways could see a plume of dark smoke bellowing from the site of the fire.
No injuries were reported after the fire broke out. Its cause is still under investigation, but fire personnel said it may have started in an attic space.