Firefighters on Tuesday were still investigating the cause of a three-alarm blaze that tore through a Glendale strip mall, destroying several longtime businesses.
Fire officials estimated damage from the blaze was about $2.25 million.
The aggressive fire started at 9:55 a.m. Monday inside the strip mall in the 600 block of East Glenoaks Boulevard with flames and heavy smoke coming from the roof.
While no one was injured during the blaze, the roof partially collapsed and forced firefighters to retreat and defensively battle the flames.
Nearby homes and businesses were evacuated while crews closed a portion of Glenoaks.
Fire crews raised ladder trucks to fight the fire, which was extinguished at 11:44 a.m.
The flames narrowly missed overhead power lines, but slightly scorched trees surrounding the rear of the strip mall, which housed the family-owned and operated M.G.M Cleaners, Salon De Beauté, Mister Good Fast Pizza and Glenoaks Deli Gourmet Grocery.
Mister Good Fast Pizza, which had been operating for 31 years, was known for its special Valentine’s Day pizza, which was shaped as a heart.
On Monday, staff thanked the community in a post on the business’ Facebook page.
“Thank you again for all the love and support,” staff wrote in the Facebook message. “We appreciate it more than you will know.”
Nshan Pogosyan and his wife opened the doors to their dry-cleaning business on Glenoaks in 2007.
His 83-year-old father occasionally helped out around the business, but Pogosyan, his wife and two other employees mostly handled dry-cleaning duties.
When Pogosyan exited his business during the fire on Monday, he saw the blaze had quickly swept through the strip mall. Pogosyan said he was scared, but was mostly worried about everyone’s safety.
News about the devastating fire quickly spread to friends, family and customers, who he said have flooded him with warm thoughts and messages of concern.
The business was the couple’s only source of income, which he said will make life difficult for a while.
But Pogosyan is optimistic and hopes to reopen the business in the strip mall because he said he has grown to love the area.
“I love my customers,” he said. “I love my neighborhood. When I get the opportunity, I am going to open as soon as possible.”