"It was a significant fire with a several-hundred-thousand-dollar loss, and any fire of that significance is profound on our terms because it displaces merchants and disrupts the residents around the area," Doyle said.
Fire officials are still investigating the cause of the fire but have ruled out arson, he said.
Camelia Florist, which has a storefront that faces Broadway Avenue, sustained the most damage among the nearly dozen businesses at the mall.
The fire originated in the flower shop, Doyle said.
"It's going to affect me really bad," said Hermine Iskandaryan, who has owned Camelia Florist for 10 years. "I had a lot of stuff in there, a lot of decorations for Christmas. Now there is nothing inside. Everything is destroyed."
She estimated at least $70,000 worth of merchandise was lost.
An auto insurance office on the second floor of the mall, above Camelia Florist, and Pacific Grand Food, a market that neighbors the flower shop, also sustained fire and smoke damage, Doyle said.
Grand Faroukhians, owner of Pacific Grand Food, was called by firefighters at about 3:20 a.m. Thursday, and was informed of what had happened.
Faroukhians lost an estimated $3,000 to $4,000 in gross sales by having to close his shop Thursday. And he was expecting a large shipment of meat, which he will now have to store at another location and will likely be unable to sell, he said.
"I got a lot of damages," Faroukhians said. "The entire roof, all the air conditioning, all the ducting is all gone. My office space is gone."
While fire officials estimated damages at $600,000 to the structure and $150,000 to the contents, that number could rise as businesses owners assess their own damages, Doyle said.
"Sadly, whenever a business is destroyed by a fire, often times they may never reopen," he said, adding that it is now up to the owner of the strip mall and the individual businesses owners to decide if and when stores will reopen. Remedy Pharmacy was one of the few businesses that opened Thursday, but the smell of smoke was so strong inside the store, employees lingered out front.
"I'm assuming customers won't get in because the smell of smoke is so bad, the employees can't even get inside," pharmacy owner Michael Issakhanian said. "We're just answering the phones."
Broadway Avenue between Pacific and Columbus avenues was closed off to traffic until about 9:30 a.m.