Crews Put Out Large Blaze at Westminster Strip Mall

Firefighters were able to contain a massive fire that broke out at a strip mall in Westminster on Wednesday.

Firefighters were called at 4:40 p.m. to a commercial center at 9241 Bishop Place, according to Orange County Fire Authority spokesman Capt. Larry Kurtz.

Aerial video of the scene showed the fire activity was mainly concentrated in a large auto shop, LD Auto Service at 9245 Bishop Place, but had also spread to neighboring businesses selling ceramics and flowers.

The blaze sent a large amount of smoke wafting into the sky. It reached as far as Huntington Beach, according to fire officials there, who said they’d received calls from concerned citizens in the area of the Bella Terra mall off the 405 Freeway.

Huntington Beach, Fountain Valley and Garden Grove crew members responded to assist, alongside firefighters from the OCFA, the fire authority said in a tweet. Kurtz later said firefighters from Orange city and Costa Mesa also responded.

Firefighters were attacking the flames with at least three engines positioned along the buildings’ perimeter, as well as from the ground. Some crew members were positioned along parts of the roof, though it appeared much of the ceiling over the main fire area had collapsed.

Around 5:30 p.m., it appeared firefighters had the upper hand on the situation, with far more smoke visible than active flames. Fire officials said the main body of the fire was extinguished and its spread halted by 6 p.m.

Bishop Place was closed between Weststate and Bushard streets while authorities mopped up the scene.

It was taking some time for crews to put out all the hot spots inside the structure, but once that was completed investigators would be able to enter and begin working to determine the fire’s cause and assess damage. However, that would take some time considering the extent of the damage, Kurtz said.

The building involved consists of seven units, each with a separate business. Those on west end were heavily charred, while those on the east side “don’t look bad,” Kurtz said.

One firefighter suffered a minor injury and was taken to a nearby hospital, officials said.

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly indicated L.A. County firefighters had responded to this blaze. The story has been updated.

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