Flames Damage Fla. Strip Mall Businesses

Sept. 03--PEMBROKE PINES -- Fire marshals are investigating the cause of a blaze that damaged a catering business, a martial arts dojo and a family home care provider during a Wednesday morning fire in a Pembroke Pines strip shopping center.

The blaze sparked about 6:30 a.m. at the Holiday Plaza in the 9100 block of Taft Street. The business Doris Catering suffered the most damage, fire rescue division chief Jorge Hernandez said.

"That's where the main body of fire was," he said. "It was toward the back of the store and it charred up the place pretty good."

The two neighboring businesses sustained smoke damage only, he said.

About a dozen firefighters had the flames under control within five minutes and there was no structural damage, Hernandez said.

"Just the interior, drop ceiling and stuff," he said. "Nobody was hurt, the businesses were not occupied."

Firefighters stayed at the scene for a couple of hours to make sure there were no smoldering embers that might flare up.

"It was pretty big because there was potential for [the flames] traveling," Hernandez said. "The smoke was already in the adjacent stores so the potential was there."

There was no impact on traffic, he said, and the cause of the fire was not immediately apparent.

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