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Foul play no longer suspected in Indio fire

Strip mall fire investigation continues, but authorities say no criminal activity is suspected

INDIO, Calif. - A blaze that gutted a strip mall on Highway 111 in Indio two weeks ago is still under investigation, but a fire official said today that no foul play is suspected.

The fire, which started early on the morning of Aug. 24 at Kristen Plaza in the 81900 block of Highway 111, destroyed at least five businesses. It started at Frankie's Fresh Fish, a fish market and sushi restaurant, and spread to the opposite end of the strip mall, Riverside County Fire Department Capt. Scott Visyak said.

"The investigation is still ongoing. However, no criminal activity is suspected," he said.

Six of the seven spaces that were destroyed were occupied by businesses; a Chinese restaurant was using two spaces, Visyak said. Other businesses included a check-cashing business and a taco shop.

More than 60 firefighters had the non-injury blaze contained about two hours after it started and kept the flames from spreading to two vacant spaces next to Frankie's.

Damage was estimated at $2 million, fire officials said.

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