Firefighters battle blaze at El Monte strip mall

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Firefighters battled a blaze that spread through an El Monte strip mall and resulted in a partial roof collapse Thursday night.

Crews raced to the scene after getting a report of smoke coming from the strip mall in the 10100 block of East Valley Boulevard about 8:10 p.m., according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

The first arriving crew pulled out some of the structure’s ceiling and noticed pressurized smoke throughout it, Fire Inspector Henry Narvaez said.

The crews pulled back, going into defensive mode as they called for more manpower, he said.

Aerial video from Sky5 showed a large firefighting response, with crews pouring water on flames seen shooting through the structure’s roof about an hour after the fire was first reported.

Eighty firefighters responded to the scene, according to the Fire Department.

Parts of the structure’s roof collapsed as the fire raged, fire officials said.

Though mainly centralized in an attic, the blaze ripped through the one-story building, burning at least five businesses, according to the fire inspector.

All the businesses were closed when the fire broke out and no one was inside, Narvaez said.

Several stores are located in the strip mall, including a market, a hair salon, a check cashing business, a small medical clinic and a party supply store.

No injuries were reported during the incident.

By 10 p.m., firefighter had gained the upper hand on the blaze, extinguishing the bulk of the fire.

It’s unclear what ignited the flames and the incident remains under investigation.

No further details were immediately available.

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