Fire in Electrical Vault Shuts Asian Garden Mall

An electrical fire at the Asian Garden Mall on Wednesday caused officials to evacuate about 200 employees and customers.

The Asian Garden Mall, one of Little Saigon's first shopping malls, filled with heavy smoke just before 10 a.m., setting off the fire alarm, Fire Capt. Dan Young said. The fire was confined to an electrical vault at the south end of the mall in the 9200 block of Bolsa Avenue. It was controlled in 15 minutes.

Inside the vault, about the size of a bedroom, officials also found combustible materials, including paints and Christmas decorations, Young said.

"Such flammable materials should not have been stored in that area," Young said.

Authorities spent the evening repairing the electrical failure and trying to determine whether it started the fire or was caused by it, Young said.

Damage was estimated at $100,000, most of which was structural loss, Young said. The investigation is continuing.

The mall was shut down for the day, and officials were unsure whether it would reopen today.

"I hope the closure doesn't hurt business for these store owners during this time of year," Young said.

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