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Firefighter injured in blaze at Escondido strip mall

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ESCONDIDO, Calif. -- One firefighter was injured as crews battled a blaze at a strip mall in Escondido Wednesday afternoon.

The fire was reported at 3:17 p.m. inside a dry cleaning business at the end of a building in the 900 block of West Valley Parkway.

According to Fire Chief Rick Vogt of the Escondido Fire Department, one firefighter was taken to a hospital after debris from the roof fell on him. "There was a partial roof collapse, and he sustained injuries and was transported to Palomar Hospital," Vogt said.

The dry cleaning business was fully engulfed when firefighters arrived, with flames spreading to two neighboring businesses. The dry cleaning shop was destroyed, with fire damage extending to the gun and cigarette businesses next door and the roof of the shared building.

Rick Nare, the owner of the gun shop, RDL Tactical, said the owner of the dry cleaners came running in asking for help.

"We got a fire extinguisher ran over and right when we got there the fire was in the back of the building, it had already spread to the roof and within less than a minute the whole place was engulfed in smoke and flames," said Nare.

Nare's business and the other next door have been "red-tagged" declared off limits until a structural engineer declares the shops safe to re-enter. But the dry cleaners is a "total loss" according to Chief Vogt.

A nearby civilian suffered smoke inhalation but declined treatment. No one else was injured in the fire.

The cause of the fire was under investigation.

Check back for updates on this developing story.

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