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La Cañada History: 1968 fire at Foothill Boulevard shopping center causes $203K in damages and shutters some businesses

La Cañada History: 1968 fire at Foothill Boulevard shopping center causes $203K in damages and shutters some businesses
It was believed an electrical short in a fluorescent light fixture caused a fire in August 1968 at a La Cañada shopping center then located on Foothill Boulevard at Vineta Avenue. Above, Ed Kraus, left, and his brother Laurie Kraus survey the damage to their liquor store. (File Photo/La Cañada Valley Sun)

Ten Years Ago

Penguin’s Frozen Yogurt Place announced it would mark its 20th anniversary in La Cañada in the summer of 2008 with a party that would feature 20-cent servings of frozen yogurt, face-painting, balloon animals and a free reusable grocery bag with each purchase. “When I first started out I kept thinking, ‘Am I going to make it?’ And now, here I am 20 years later,” said the shop’s owner, Loretta Chicoine.

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Twenty Years Ago

Deitra Reed, a principal in the Glendora Unified School District, was hired by the La Cañada school board to serve as the new principal of Palm Crest Elementary School on the departure of Brent Noyes. The same week, 33-year local schools administrator C.T. Holman announced his intention to retire.

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Thirty Years Ago

A lot coverage ordinance said to be more restrictive than one in Beverly Hills was recommended for approval by the La Cañada Flintridge Planning Commission. The ordinance was one of two prepared by the city to “better control the outbreak here of two-story homes being built in single-story neighborhoods.”

Forty Years Ago

A Flintridge area man, reportedly intoxicated, was taken into custody after he allegedly tried to attack a water meter reader with a butcher knife and then fought with a sheriff’s deputy called to the scene to investigate the incident.

Fifty Years Ago

Three stores in the La Cañada Flintridge shopping center then located on Foothill Boulevard at Vineta Avenue (where McDonald’s is today) were closed for business after a $203,000 blaze broke out. Affected businesses were Kraus Liquor Store, Jundt’s Pharmacy and the Coronet five and dime store. The complex was razed shortly thereafter to make way for the Foothill (210) Freeway and owners of two of the stores, Kraus and Jundt’s, were planning to move into the new Plaza de La Cañada on Foothill at Oakwood Avenue in September of that year. It was believed an electrical short in a fluorescent light caused the fire.

Sixty Years Ago

There was a new social group in town, the Fliñada Dance Club. Membership was to be by invitation only and limited to 65 couples. It was announced the club’s first dance was planned for Sept. 6, 1958 at the Huntington-Sheraton Hotel (now the Langham Huntington) in Pasadena.

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