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Massive fire ruins several businesses at Treviño Village shopping center

Photo courtesy of Angelica Guerra.
Photo courtesy of Angelica Guerra.
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Fire crews worked to contain a massive fire that spread to several businesses at the Trevino Village shopping center in east El Paso.

The fire was reported Monday just before 4:30 p.m. at the shopping center near the intersection of Lee Trevino Boulevard and Rojas Drive.

The fire was upgraded from a condition 2 to a condition 4, the most severe.

"A second alarm went out to send additional units to the scene," said El Paso Fire Department spokesman Carlos Briano.

Firefighters worked for hours to put the fire out. A partial roof collapse at one of the buildings also caused a gas leak, the fire department said in a tweet.

The fire department said most of the fire was contained around 7:40 p.m. but crews remained on the scene looking for hot spots.

Several businesses including Smokey's Pit Stop and Saloon, Good Coffee restaurant, an Allstate insurance office and Oriental Hut restaurant are located at the shopping center.

The only building that appeared untouched by the flames was the Firestone tire store.

Business owner James Zickmund was preparing for the dinner rush at Oriental Hut when some started coming out of another restaurant.

"The first thing I saw was smoke and then I went to investigate. That's when I saw flames at Good Coffee," Zickmund said.

"It smelled like wires were burning." said a woman who was picking up dinner at Smokey's. "We saw flames going out of the ceiling."

All of the businesses had to be evacuated and streets around the area were blocked off. Dozens of people had to wait for hours, unable to move their cars from the parking lot.

"Firefighters started fighting the fire, looking for people at the same time," Briano said.

No injuries were reported in the fire.

Business owners and employees watched helplessly from across the street as fire tore through the buildings.

"It's very sad, it's very sad," said the woman who left Smokey's.

"It went quick, very fast. Then when you see the flames on top of your business, that's when it really started to sink in," Zickmund said.

The El Paso Fire Department said 28 units responded to the fire.

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No word yet on exactly how the fire started.

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