Gas leak in laundromat sparks strip mall fire

A stubborn fire sparked by a gas leak inside a vacant laundromat heavily damaged a strip mall in Boyle Heights this morning but caused no injuries, the Los Angeles Fire Department reported.

The blaze at the one-story commercial mall at 2191 E. Whittier Blvd. near Boyle Avenue was reported at 1:47 a.m., said department spokeswoman Margaret Stewart, adding that 75 firefighters needed 59 minutes to knock down
the flames.

The fire heavily damaged the building housing the coin-operated laundry and caused the front fascia of the structure to collapse, making it unsafe to enter, Stewart said.

Firefighters will guard against flareups overnight, and an arson investigation will be conducted later today, she said.

No injuries were reported. Damages were being tallied.

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