LAFD Still Investigating Fatal Strip Mall Fire

An autopsy has not yet been performed on the unidentified male body discovered at the scene.

It could be Sunday at the earliest before an autopsy is conducted on a man's body that was found in a burned-out business in Canoga Park, a coroner's investigator said Friday.

Dental records must be obtained and preliminary reports prepared before the man's identity can be confirmed, said coroner's Investigator Elissa Fleak.

Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Erik Scott did not know how the fire started.

"Right now the fire remains under investigation by the Los Angeles City Fire Department's arson investigators," Scott said. "But so far, there is no indication that this was an arson fire."

The blaze in a strip mall at 7832 Alabama Ave. was reported at about 2:10 a.m. Thursday and put out in 32 minutes, according to Scott. One of 62 firefighters assigned to the fire fell off a ladder was taken to a hospital to be checked out, he said.

Three units at the strip mall were severely damaged, and three sustained damage in areas where they shared walls, a videographer at the scene said.

Tenants included a paint shop, two kitchen appliance stores, a construction business and a surf shop, where chemicals reacted with water after the fire, exploding harmlessly during the mop-up phase, according to the photographer.


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