Investigators work to determine cause of Compton strip mall fire

COMPTON, Calif. (KABC) -- An investigation is underway to determine the cause of a fire that broke out at a Compton strip mall early Wednesday morning, including the possibility that the fire was started by an explosive Molotov cocktail.

It took firefighters nearly an hour to get the fire out after responding to the strip mall at Alondra and Atlantic around 4 a.m.

The possibility of a Molotov cocktail being thrown into a laundromat was one piece being investigated.

"We don't like seeing these things happen in our city, we take them very serious," Luis Hernandez, Battalion Chief of the Compton Fire Department, said.

The fast moving fire did spread to other units, causing significant water and roof damage to a liquor store, and a barbershop next door.

"It's bad. We've been here for 26 years, and this is the first time this is happening," said Fernando Arguello, the owner of the barbershop. "I'm emotional, my wife is more because she's the one who's been working here for 26 years, and my son."

Arguello said he has no idea how the fire happened. He said he does plan to make repairs and reopen. He is glad no one was injured in the fire.

Hours after the fire was put out, investigators are working to confirm how the fire started, and if it was intentional.
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