WOODLAND HILLS—A fire erupted at a strip mall in Woodland Hills on Friday, December 20. Firefighters arrived at the El Camino Shopping Center located on North Valley Circle Boulevard near the 101 freeway at about 3:00 a.m. According to Los Angeles Fire Department Spokesperson Margaret Stewart, flames were shooting out of the roof of the buildings when firefighters arrived on the scene.
About 84 to 100 firefighters were assisted in extinguishing the flames. Most of the fire was contained by 4:00 a.m., but personnel remained at the scene to eliminate remaining hot spots. According to LAFD, arson investigators were brought to the scene which is a regular protocol for a fire that size.
The fire caused significant damage to the structure aside from the partial roof collapse. Multiple businesses were destroyed by the flames and there is possible damage to the mall’s front façade.
Investigators believe the fire started at the pet food shop Pet Food Express. The fire spread through a shared attic of three other businesses causing a partial collapse of the building’s roof. Pet Food Express will remain closed for an unknown duration. The store will be offering same-day delivery of food throughout Woodland Hills during the closure.
Fazio Cleaners, a business adjacent to Pet Food Express was also damaged by the fire including customers items. The company issued a statement addressing claims for damaged items, “While we are still assessing the loss of items, customers who would like to file a claim should contact our Calabasas store located a mile from our Woodland Hills location. The address is 4732 Commons Way, Calabasas.”
The LAFD tweeted, “One 30F patient transported with minor burn injury and smoke inhalation.” The exact cause of the fire is still under investigation.
Written By Christianne McCormick and Anita Brown