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5-alarm fire ravages Santa Clara strip mall

Multiple businesses were destroyed by a five-alarm fire at a strip mall in Santa Clara Wednesday morning, a fire battalion chief said.

Firefighters responded at 2:47 a.m. to the blaze at Rancho Shopping Center on El Camino Real, Battalion Chief Casey Potts said.

Crews arrived to find flames had spread through about a third of the strip mall and was burning in a common attic space. The roof of the building eventually collapsed as the fire progressed, Potts said.

Firefighters were able to stop the blaze from spreading to the rest of the building and extinguished it by about 7:30 a.m., according to Potts. No injuries were reported.

The cause of the fire is under investigation and crews remained at the scene late this morning conducting overhaul operations.

Potts didn’t know exactly how much damage was caused by the blaze but said some of the businesses are a “total loss.”

Donna Marurka owns a dance studio that appeared to be intact at the corner of the shopping center just next to the burned businesses.

The fire spread through Seoul Rice Cake, an Indian restaurant, a foot spa, a karaoke business and a vacant salon, Marurka said.

She received a call at 4 a.m. that the studio’s burglar alarm went off and quickly arrived to the strip mall where she watched the fire burn for hours.

Marurka has run the business for 10 years and was worried about whether she can still hold the studio’s 30th anniversary performance in about three weeks.

Potts called the fire “labor-intensive” and said Santa Clara firefighters received assistance from the Santa Clara County and San Jose fire departments as well as the Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety.

Eastbound El Camino Real remained closed late this morning between Flora Vista and Nobili avenues because of the response to the fire.

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