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Fast-moving fire guts O.C. strip mall

April 16, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Residents in an Anaheim neighborhood have been allowed to return home, now that firefighters have gained control of a blaze at a nearby strip mall.The fire broke out just after 7 p.m. Wednesday and heavily damaged The Brookhurst Plaza at 518 S. Brookhurst St.

Strong winds and embers forced the Anaheim Fire Department to evacuate four homes just east of the complex. A convenience store and restaurant were also evacuated as a precaution.

The fire apparently started in a bakery, which sustained the most damage, and spread to a video store on one side and a hair salon on the other. A fourth business sustained water and smoke damage.

A part of the roof in front of the bakery collapsed from the flames forcing firefighters to evacuate.

It took firefighters an hour to knockdown the fire, but crews stayed at the scene late into the night.

"We're making sure that there are no hot spots and nothing is smoldering," said Maria Sabol, spokesperson for the Anaheim Fire Department.

Some 70 firefighters from the Orange County Fire Authority, Garden Grove and Fullerton departments battled the fire alongside the Anaheim Fire Department. In all, nine engines and six trucks responded to the fire.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

CNS and The Orange County Register contributed to this report.