Fire at strip mall

A fire erupted at a large single-story strip mall in San Bernardino on Oct. 27.  (Contributed photo by San Bernardino County Fire Department)

A fire erupted at a large single-story strip mall in San Bernardino on Oct. 27, according to the San Bernardino County Fire Department.

There were no reports of injuries.

At 7:12 p.m., crews were dispatched to a reported commercial structure fire in the area of Sierra Way and 40th Street. ME227 quickly arrived on scene and found heavy fire in a center unit of the strip mall, said Battalion Chief Mike McClintock.

A 2nd and 3rd alarm were quickly requested, McClintock said. Interior crews and truck companies on the roof reported lateral spread to both sides of the initial occupancy and a running attic fire.

Despite a coordinated attack, the blaze quickly grew and extended to the attic space. Due to the quickly advancing fire, an operational retreat was initiated to get crews out of the building and off the roof. While crews transitioned from an offensive to defensive posture, multiple power lines became compromised, causing a hazard.

Crews shifted their priority to holding the fire at the Bank of America bank and Cardenas Market next to the fire units. Crews were successful in holding the fire at the bank, saving the remainder of the strip mall, including multiple high-value occupancies.

Besides the multiple units on fire, a significant ember cast started adjacent palm trees, an outbuilding and dumpsters for about one square block.

To suppress the fire, crews utilized hand lines, master streams and ladder pipes, flowing more than 5,000 gallons per minute on the fire.

The fire was ultimately knocked down in about 90 minutes.

Five strip mall units were heavily damaged in the blaze, and four of the five were vacant at the time of the incident. The remainder of the strip mall was saved from fire damage.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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