PALMS, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Seventeen cats were killed and a firefighter was transported to a hospital Saturday morning after a massive fire engulfed a strip mall in Palms that included an overnight boarding facility for pets, the Los Angeles Fire Department said.
Firefighters knocked down a the "major emergency structure fire" at a row of commercial buildings in the 9000 block of West Venice Boulevard, the LAFD said.
"Heavy smoke impacted at least half-dozen businesses, including a feline overnight boarding facility where several cats were rescued, but others sadly perished," said Brian Humphrey, a Fire Department spokesman. Two cats were receiving medical care after being rescued.
Firefighters responded to the scene at 5:44 a.m. and had the blaze extinguished within 73 minutes of their arrival, Humphrey said.
Although thick smoke charred the majority of the large building that featured a common attic, the bulk of fire damage was limited to three businesses, the LAFD said.
"One firefighter took ill during the intense firefight, and has been taken to an area hospital in fair condition for observation," Humphrey said.
There were no civilian injuries. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Vehicle traffic on Venice Boulevard, between Robertson and Culver boulevards, would be limited to one westbound lane Saturday afternoon as firefighters and investigators remained at the scene, the LAFD said.