Two-Alarm Fire Burns Through La Bodega Market on 7th and Magnolia

Photos and video by Sarah Bennett

With hundreds of residents looking on, more than 45 Long Beach firefighters battled for hours to extinguish what officials called “an aggresive interior fire” in a strip mall near Downtown Monday night. No injuries were reported.

Long Beach Fire Department received the first report of a fire at La Bodega #7 Market on the corner of 7th St. and Magnolia Ave. at 9:27PM. According to the Fire Department, the building was heavy with smoke and fire upon first arrival and a second alarm was called within a minute.

“The fire already had a foothold when we got here,” said Batallion Chief Tom Crewse. “Firefighters led an offensive fire attack the whole way.”

The building was declared free of persons on primary search and no firefighters were injured when a large portion of La Bodega’s roof collapsed during the blaze.

While the main part of the fire was knocked down and under control by around 10:30PM, crews continued to access concealed parts of the building, resulting in a complete knockdown by 11:21PM. With companies fighting the fire from the roof and crews working below and inside the building, LBFD was able to save more than 50% of the strip mall structure.

La Bodega sustained the bulk of the fire damage, according to firefighter Will Nash. An adjacent laundromat sustained water damage but the rest of the businesses in the strip mall, including a doughnut shop and a Chinese restaurant, were not damaged.

The cause of the fire is unknown at this time and is still under investigation.


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