PALMDALE – Tuesday afternoon, dozens of firefighters were still at the scene of a second-alarm fire that gutted a large retail store at a Palmdale strip mall in the early morning hours.
“It looks like it’s pretty much a total loss at this point,” said L.A. County Assistant Fire Chief Gerald Cosey.
The store’s owner did not want to be interviewed, but KTLA reports the large retail store had only been open for about two weeks and was scheduled to have an official grand opening celebration this coming weekend.
Cosey said the fire was reported around 4 a.m. Tuesday morning. Within six minutes units responded to the 2200 Block of Palmdale Boulevard and found the store engulfed in flames, he said.
“The fire was showing from through the front doors,” Cosey said. “The fire obviously got bigger and started going through the roof, so we had to back out, and put our ladder pipe operations into effect.”
Cosey said about 65 firefighters, and nearly a dozen ladder trucks battled the blaze at its peak. They doused the flames from outside the structure, and official knockdown was declared around 7:30 a.m., Cosey said.
“That was only due to the fact that we had some inaccessible areas that were still on fire that we couldn’t get to,” Cosey said. “Because of the structural compromise, we wouldn’t send anybody into the structure.”
He said fire crews were able to limit the fire to the 40,000-square foot structure so that none of the surrounding businesses were affected.
The business was a general merchandise store that sold clothing, fabric, home appliances, electronics, and yard supplies, Cosey said.
He said no one was inside the building when the fire erupted, and no injuries were reported.
“We have the Sheriff’s investigation team on scene and they are working to determine the cause,” Cosey said.