Indio firefighters say six businesses were destroyed in a two alarm fire that spread through the attic of a strip mall early Friday morning.
Indio Fire Division Chief Mike Marlow told News Channel 3, "The fire started in a center unit and spread to five other businesses to the east. A vacant Blockbuster video storefront and Domino's pizza were saved, but the rest of the building appears to be destroyed."
Marlow said the flames got into attic area and ran the entire length of the building located on the 81900 block of Highway 111.
The fire was first reported at 4:48 a.m. It took firefighters more than three hours to completely extinguish the flames.
The businesses destroyed included a taco shop, Frankie's Fresh Fish Restaurant, Pak Inn chinese food, a "Check into Cash" business, a nutrition store, and a "Phen Fen" weight loss shop. A vacant store front was also destroyed that once housed a Sprint retailer.
Firefighters could do little to stop the fire's spread inside the building's attic space. They were able to protect some palm trees and nearby power poles briefly threatened by flames.
The Imperial Irrigation District cut electricity to some nearby customers at some neighboring apartment complexes, and other customers, because of the fire.
Indio police closed Highway 111's east and westbound lanes between Las palmas Road and Monroe Street and Avenue 46 between Highway 111 and Avenida del Mar. All roads were reopened by 10:00 a.m. The closures slowed commuters on their way to work Friday morning.
Business owners told News Channel 3 late Friday morning they're sad for their workers. Meanwhile they're now tasked with rebuilding and finding new employment.
No injuries were reported.