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Façade collapses at La Puente strip mall

July 23, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
The façade of a strip mall under construction in La Puente collapsed Thursday afternoon, but no one was injured. The 100-foot façade on the building in the 16000 block of Main Street came crashing down around 2 p.m.

Los Angeles County Fire and Sheriff's officials were quick to the scene. Search and rescue dogs were called in to look for anyone trapped in the debris.

About a dozen people were inside the various stores at the time of the collapse, but all of them managed to get out safely. Two people in nearby businesses had to be helped out by firefighters, but were not hurt.

"The debris was in the way of them getting out from the front safely and so the firefighters helped and assisted them to get them to a safe area," said Frederic Stowers from the L.A. County Fire Department.

They were all checked by the paramedics from the local fire station and released at the scene.

Investigators are still trying to figure out what caused the roof to collapse.

Two cars were damaged and had to be towed away. The total damage estimate is more than $200,000.

One store owner said it could have been much worse because the mall usually gets busy around 2:30 p.m.

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