Sac Metro Fire Crews Battle Flames at Strip Mall

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Instead of being swarmed with customers, a Sacramento strip mall was swarming with firefighters Thursday night.

According to investigators, flames started melting through the back of the structure around 6:30 p.m. and quickly spread to the roof.

That was a problem for the Music Specialists, Shelton's Wedding Cakes and four other business in the mall, because that allowed the fire to spread sideways.

Crews cut or vented the roof to stop that spread.

Metro Battalion Chief Anthony Kastros says getting at the fire from the front of the building was difficult for an entirely different reason.

"All of the businesses here have security bars, which is understandable ... but we have to cut through all that. That causes a delay, but the crews did a great job in getting it done," Kastros said.

Kastros also said that parts of all of the businesses were saved, but Tammy Harvey is doubtful about what can be recovered.

She's owned Haircuts and More for 20 years.

"I don't know if they're going to rebuild," she said.

"It's just devastating."

John Shelton's also run his wedding cake business in the now charred strip mall for 20 years.

He spent part of Thursday night pullingĀ  burnt computers and cake models out of his shop.

He says some of those models cost more than the actual cakes for a couple's big day.

As of 10 p.m. Shelton had bakers working off-site to re-do cakes that had been ready for weddings this weekend.

Investigators have not yet identified the cause of that fire.