By ISHANI DESAI
Two-alarm fire destroyed a shopping center in the Parkway area of south Sacramento early on Friday. Sacramento Fire Department officials, as well as one owner called it a complete loss. The crews responded to the 3800-block of Florin Road shortly before 4:30 am and discovered that the fire had spread throughout Southgate Plaza. Justin Sylvia is a spokesperson for the Fire Department. He said that in some spots, the roof collapsed while firefighters battled flames on ladders for over four hours. Sylvia explained that the building did not have “firestops” to prevent flames from spreading quickly throughout the structure. He said that the early morning time could have caused the flames to start before the crews even became aware of the fire. Sylvia explained that firefighters usually have the ability to control flames within 30 minutes. The flames were still burning in the strip mall when Sylvia arrived on the scene, 30 minutes after the first report. Sylvia stated that “this one was still increasing.”
The owner who attended the incident but refused to give any details said that he thought the fire was going to leave the building “in ruins”. He added that 18 businesses were occupying the 27 unit complex, including a dental office, salon, pharmacy and other small business. He said that he was not sure if his business partners and he would rebuild the building. It is located across from FoodMaxx and next to a central AT&T office that was unharmed, as well as vacant lots where formerly sat a Paul Blanco auto lot. Sylvia stated that the fire had blocked Florin Road for several hours between Luther Drive and Franklin Boulevard. Crews would be on site throughout Friday to ensure no hot spots flare up. Sylvia added that investigators would also remain at the scene in order to determine what caused the fire.
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