Two firefighters were injured in a fire that caused part of a Monterey Park strip mall to collapse Thursday morning.
It took crews nearly three hours to knock down the blaze that started at around 1:34 a.m. in the 300 block of East Garvey Avenue, according to the Los Angeles County and Monterey Park fire departments.
Firefighters were forced to fight the blaze defensively, fire authorities said. The flames caused the roof on the west side of the one-story strip mall to collapse. At least 13 businesses were destroyed.
It was later upgraded to a four-alarm fire.
Two firefighters were taken to a hospital with minor injuries.
Nearly 40 residents at a nearby apartment north of the scene were evacuated because of the heat and smoke but were let back into their residences at around 4:45 a.m.
Both east and west directions of Garvey Avenue between Russell and Alhambra avenues were shut down indefinitely Thursday morning, according to the Monterey Park Police Department. Police recommended drivers take alternate routes to Emerson Avenue to the north and Newmark Avenue to the south.
Areas from Garfield Avenue on Garvey Avenue to Orange Avenue, and Garvey Avenue to Hellman Avenue were affected by power outages. Police advised motorists to use caution in those areas.
The cause of the fire was not immediately known.