Ariz. Crews Battle Strip Mall Fire

Tucson firefighters kept a stubborn blaze from destroying more than 20 businesses at a strip mall on Dec. 17. 

The fire broke out in the 4900 block of East 29 Street at a one-story strip mall occupied by over 20 businesses. As units responded to the scene, they reported smoke in the area.

The first unit on scene, a battalion chief, immediately took command and advised all responding personnel that two units were fully involved.

The first engine company arrived on scene within five minutes of dispatch and efforts were immediately taken to start extinguishing the fire. The amount of fire and heat being produced prevented the company from advancing into the building.

Other units were tasked with evacuating the strip center of all people.

The first ladder truck on scene immediately went to the roof of the structure and cut several ventilation holes.

The fire was heavily concentrated in four units in the middle of the center, making it difficult to prevent the fire from spreading in either direction. Another ladder crew on scene performed a trench cut across the entire roof east of the units.

Three ladder trucks were put in place to perform aerial operations. Between the aerial operations and crews on the ground continuing to actively hit areas of fire, the fire was controlled with damage mostly contained to four units.

The fire required a four alarm dispatch consisting of more than 25 units and close to 60 firefighters throughout the operation. No firefighters were hurt during the course of the fire fighting operations.