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Strip-mall fire wakes up Phoenix neighborhood

PHOENIX -- A Phoenix strip mall was damaged by fire early Tuesday morning.

Firefighters said the fire started on the roof of the shopping center at 19th Avenue just south of Camelback Road. A vacant office and a massage/tanning salon appeared to have the most damage while other shops suffered smoke damage.

Romaldo Gonzales owns a computer-repair shop in the mall close to where the fire was and is relieved his business is intact.

"I had a lot of smoke in there but we opened up the door and let a lot of it out. ... it's a big relief. I was impressed with the firefighters because they put this out quickly."

Gonzales started getting alerts on his cellphone around 1:30 and raced over to the mall. He planned to open for business as usual.

Fire investigators are still searching for a cause for the blaze.

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About the Author


Position: Senior News Reporter. Started with KTAR July 4, 1999.

Favorite spots in Arizona: Pinetop-Lakeside, Alpine, Greer.

Have covered some of the biggest stories in Arizona including nine of the top 10 largest wildfires in state history. The Wallow Fire in 2011 became the largest fire in state history. Rodeo-Chediski Fire in June 2002, which is the second largest fire in Arizona. Covered the Yarnell Hill Tragedy in June 2013 that left 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots dead.

Favorite movies: True Grit, both 1969 John Wayne classic and the remake with Jeff Bridges and Lonesome Dove.

Sports Teams: Washington State University Cougars, Texas Longhorns, The University of Montana Grizzlies.

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