Firefighters on Monday morning put out a "stubborn" blaze" at a strip mall in Sylmar that caused a partial roof collapse in the L-shaped building.
The fire was reported about 3:45 a.m. in the 12700 block of San Fernando Road. The blaze spread rapidly through a shared attic, causing multiple parts of a facade and roof to partially collapse Los Angeles Fire Capt. Erik Scott told KTLA.
He added that while the roof was made of a light-weight material that burned easily, most of the building was saved. He described the blaze as "stubborn."
“Despite all of those challenges, the fact that the vast majority of these businesses were saved, and there were no, injuries is a win,” Scott said.
It took almost three hours and about 103 firefighters to knock down the blaze, according to a LAFD alert.
Part of a roof collapsed on one side of the strip mall and later the roof of a laundromat collapsed as well. Firefighters worked to defend another section of the strip mall as well as surrounding businesses and homes as winds pushed the fire "aggressively," LAFD Chief Corey Rose told KTLA.
Firefighters were pulled from the building for safety and were in defensive mode battling the blaze.
No injuries have been reported and the cause of the blaze is under investigation. Arson investigators responded to the scene, which is standard in a blaze of that size, Scott said.
Residents in the area were asked to keep their windows closed because of smoke from the fire.
Gerardo Juarez said the smell of smoke woke him up early Monday.
"I couldn’t even breathe," Juarez said after leaving his nearby home to find out what was happening.
Itzel Martinez told KTLA that her mother's religious store is one of the businesses in the strip mall and that her "life savings" were inside.
Scott said firefighters were able to stop the spread of the blaze by removing the roof of that store, and that despite some water damage, the majority of the store was saved from the fire.