Glendale firefighters were joined by units from Pasadena, Burbank
and Los Angeles County. About 75 firefighters battled the flames for
almost two hours until it finally was out. The cause still is under
Firefighters knocked ventilation holes in the roof of the
building, allowing the heat to escape and preventing the fire from
spreading as rapidly as it could have. The dangerous technique meant
some parts of the building received only smoke and water damage, Fire
Capt. Tom Marchant said.
"Hopefully, some of the businesses will be able to keep going
during the holidays," Marchant said.
Despite the aggressive techniques, the building sustained about
$1.2 million in structural damage and $500,000 damage to the
contents, fire officials said.
The portion of the building facing Honolulu was destroyed, but
firefighters said other parts of the building could be salvaged.
Later in the afternoon, fire crews knocked down walls along the
burned-out Honolulu facade as business owners waited for a chance to
get inside and measure their losses.
Julia Johns of the accounting firm John Lusich and Co. said her
firm was lucky not to lose any of its records.
"The firemen did a really good job of tarping everything," she
said. "I think we only lost some equipment."
While the company didn't suffer a total loss, accountant John
Lusich said it would be difficult to be ready for the busy tax season
"It's devastating," he said. "We have to move out and find a place
to store our stuff all before Christmas."
The fire spread quickly, either because of the shared attic space
in the building or due to the use of an accelerant, arson
investigator Mike Richardson said. As of late Wednesday, Richardson
said it appeared the building's large ceiling, without firebreaks,
allowed the fire to spread. A dog was brought in to sniff for residue
from flammable liquids.