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Three ½ Alarm Fire Monday in Monrovia Guts Several Businesses; Fire Under Investigation

Originally published Oct. 9, 2017 @11 a.m. / Last updated Oct. 10, 2017 @12:54 p.m.

Loss expected to exceed ‘well over’ one million dollars

By Terry Miller

Monrovia firefighters battled a multi-alarm fire at a commercial building on the corner of Chestnut and South Magnolia starting around 7 a.m. Monday morning.

Monrovia Fire Chief Brad Dover immediately called for a second alarm and as the morning progressed it was obvious to Battalion Chief Ron Pellham on scene that additional units were needed. It became quickly apparent that more help would be needed to fight this fast moving fire.

Additional firefighters from South Pasadena, Pasadena, Arcadia and San Gabriel were called in to assist with the fire that was already fully involved.

According to firefighters on scene, air-conditioners fell through the roof of the complex which housed an auto restoration business, a model train business and several other businesses that share the industrial complex.

Firefighters could be seen hundreds of feet in the air on high extension ladders dousing the complex with hundreds of gallons of water.

A couple of firefighters on scene were treated for heat related issues and with the intense heat, a couple of firefighter’s helmets literally melted, according to Chief Dover.

The initial fire investigation “raised our suspicion …” according to Monrovia Fire Chief Dover. However, it could be some time before anything is conclusive.

Arson investigators from Pasadena Fire Dept. were on scene Tuesday afternoon but as of press time Chief Dover said the cause of the fire is “undetermined and inconclusive.”

Chief Dover said the damages estimates are “well over a million dollars.” However, firefighters were able to save several of the nearby businesses and said the firefighters did a “good save … ”

After the roof initially started caving in, the buildings were completely evacuated. All told the fire involved 13 engine companies from Monrovia and other area cities.

At least three businesses are a complete loss as a result of the fire. No other injuries were reported.

October 10, 2017

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