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Strip Mall Fire Claims Two Religious Centers

Mosque and Christian Meeting House Destroyed

AN EARLY-MORNING FIRE SATURDAY in Stockton, California, destroyed part of a strip mall shopping center with the heaviest damage to a real estate office and a mosque next to it.  The fire also caused some damage to a Christian worship center and the involvement of two religious centers automatically triggered an enhanced arson investigation.

KXTV

The fire was discovered shortly after 4 am and during the operations the heat became so intense that it started melting the window coverings in an apartment building locate nearby.  About ten apartments were evacuated as a precaution, but the fire was successfully contained.

When the first units arrived on scene at 4:15, the real estate office and the mosque were both fully involved.  A 2nd alarm was struck immediately for the exposure hazard of the apartments.  While the firefighters were inside knocking down the fire, parts of the roof started collapsing into the shops and the FF's were withdrawn.

KCRA-TV Ch. 3 Sacramento filed this video report:

 

The point of origin was most likely in the wall between the two burned-out units, but nothing has been clearly determined yet.

KXTV Ch. 10 has more of the story HERE.

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