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Arson Fire Causes Blast That Damages Granada Hills Store

An arson fire that set off an explosion early Friday heavily damaged a Granada Hills neighborhood market, the Los Angeles Fire Department reported.

The fire was reported about 2:45 a.m. at Araz International Grocery in the 10600 block of Zelzah Avenue, a Fire Department spokesman said. About 25 firefighters extinguished the blaze in 16 minutes.

Fire officials said an attempt was made to start a fire in an Italian restaurant next door in the strip shopping center, but flammable liquid poured through an exhaust vent did not ignite. Arson investigators said that a flammable liquid container was recovered from the roof of the building.

There were no injuries or arrests Friday, and the motivation for the arson was not known.

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“It was a mom-and-pop type of grocery,” department spokesman Bob Collis said. “The fire was set in the rear. Whatever it was, it blew out the front windows when it ignited.”

Collis said he estimated the fire caused about $5,000 in structural damage and another $20,000 in damage to store goods.


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