Fire rips through Highland Park strip mall, causes partial roof collapse

MONTEREY HILLS, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A fire ripped through a strip mall in Highland Park early Wednesday morning, causing part of the roof to collapse.

Firefighters responded to the 5900 block of North Monterey Road around 4:30 a.m. When they arrived, the fire was burning through the roof of the single-story building, which contains a sushi restaurant, donut shop, dry cleaners and other stores.

"Our neighbor was driving by, she saw the flames and then she came in around five o'clock. She knocked on our door and then my parents came out and I came in later and I saw the flames just all over the roof," said Jason Kim, the sushi restaurant owner's son.

Three of the five businesses in the mall were at a complete loss. Joshua Park, a cleaning business owner's son, said the fire gutted their place.

Some store owners who spoke with Eyewitness News said the first flames they saw were coming from the laundromat, which then quickly spread to other businesses.

"Unfortunately, it doesn't seem like there's anything left inside. Even our cash register completely burned up," Park said.

Kim said his parents have owned the sushi restaurant for about 10 years and aren't sure what to do next.

A portion of Monterey Road was closed near the 110 Freeway as the fire continued to tear through the building and downed nearby power lines. Around 6:30 a.m. firefighters got the upper hand on the blaze and knocked it down.

The cause was under investigation.
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