Massive Overnight Fire Destroys Businesses in Cerritos

This morning I woke up and was having my morning coffee and catching up on the news when I read on Twitter that a major fire broke out locally overnight and destroyed a retail strip mall about four miles from my home. I decided to jump in the car to check out the scene of the fire.  Here’s a short video I took:

According to the Cerritos-Artesia Patch, flames burned for more than three hours at Cerritos’ Fountain Plaza, destroying businesses in the two-story strip mall. Estimates are the fire caused about $5.5 million in damages.

The blaze broke out at 2 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 23 and burned for more than three hours, according to the Los Angeles County Fire

Cerritos on the map

Department. About 75 firefighters were on scene to battle the massive blaze.

The fire reportedly began at a Chinese restaurant in the building along the back-end of the shopping plaza — then spread to adjoining businesses. The roof of the restaurant eventually caved in as firefighters tried to tame the flames, according to reports from the scene.

Aside from the restaurant, the commercial building also housed at least 10 other businesses, including an ultrasound clinic, a dental practice, and an escrow firm.

Damage to the structure was estimated at $4 million, and roughly $1.5 million worth of contents were also destroyed, a county fire inspector said. The cause of the fire was not yet known.

Lesson Learned

When’s the last time you reviewed your property insurance coverage? Do you have adequate coverage to protect your assets? What about business interruption coverage? Whether you own a commercial building or a business, don’t think that a catastrophic fire won’t ever happen to you! This single fire completely destroyed ten different businesses. Not only are all the contents destroyed from fire and water, but all the businesses will need to be re-built and relocated. It will be quite some time before operations are restored, but the bills won’t stop coming. The salaries, loans, mortgage, and overhead still need to be paid. Don’t get burned before it’s too late.

JK

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About Jim Kinmartin - Business Insurance & Risk Management Broker

Jim is a California licensed Property & Casualty AND Accident & Health insurance agent working at the ISU - Olson Duncan Insurance brokerage in Torrance, CA. He grew up in Fullerton, CA and graduated from Servite High School in Anaheim and Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles and currently lives in Long Beach, CA. Have questions? Just ask! Or, follow Jim on Twitter at @JimKinmartin

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