Fire guts Monterey Park tailor shop, burns owner

MONTEREY PARK — A two-alarm fire gutted a tailor shop and injured the owner early Wednesday, authorities.
The fire ignited about 7 a.m. inside a two-story commercial building housing about 10 businesses in the 200 block of South Atlantic Boulevard, Monterey Park Fire Department Battalion Chief Randy Harper said.
“It gutted the (tailor shop) and it also caused smoke damage to a majority of the rest of the building,” Harper said.
The owner of a first-floor tailor shop, where the fire began, suffered second-degree burns to her face and head while trying to fight the flames herself with a fire extinguisher, Harper said. She was treated at a hospital and released later Wednesday morning.
The injured business owner was the only person inside the building when the fire broke out, according to the battalion chief.
The first firefighters on-scene found the tailor sop “fully involved” with fire, Harper said. “It was lapping up to the second floor.”
Firefighters called for backup and managed to keep the fire from spreading to neighboring businesses, he said. The fire was declared extinguished after about 30 minutes.
The cause of the fire remained under investigation.
Officials red-tagged the destroyed business and yellow-tagged the rest of the building, Harper said, meaning business owners will only have limited access until the building can be inspected for structural stability.
Traffic on Atlantic Boulevard was affected for about an hour due to the fire, Monterey Park police Lt. Scott Wiese said.
Officials initially blocked off both directions of Atlantic Boulevard at the outset of the fire, but quickly re-opened one northbound lane, he said.
A dollar-amount estimate of the damage caused by the fire was not available, however Harper said it would likely be hundreds of thousands of dollars.
PHOTO by staff photographer Watchara Phomicinda.
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