MODESTO — Flames lit up the night sky as an intense fire ripped through a Modesto strip mall on Carver Road, early Saturday morning.
“A lot of flames. I could feel the heat from all the way on the other side,” said Trong Vuong.
Modesto fire says flames were already showing when they arrived around 1 a.m.
The fire spread fast to the neighboring units forcing them to call in additional trucks for help; it took 15 trucks to knock down the flames.
“By the time I got here, the fire had already spread halfway through the building here,” Vuong said.
Voung owns the Asian Market, all he could do was watch as his family’s business burned.
“It’s a family-owned business,” he said. “It’s everything. It’s our livelihood.
The market was well known in the city; it’s been in business for the last 35 years.
At least five units in the shopping center were destroyed in the fire. Business owners call the loss “heartbreaking.” pic.twitter.com/Qp3I7lGfPj
— KristiGrossNews (@KristiGrossNews) June 9, 2019
“I mean it’s sad, very sad. It’s devastating you know. Voung said. “Heartbroken… just everything is down the drain right now.”
Red danger tape wraps around five different businesses, some that have stood for decades and shoppers say they will be missed.
“I shop at that center here. We buy our oysters at the Asian Market and I get my hair cut at the barber shop,” said patron Mike Crespin.
A trophy store, barbershop and nail salon were also destroyed.
Adriana Peral was on her way to work when she found out the acupuncture office where she’s worked for more than a decade was burned down too.
“It was like a bad dream to me. I was in shock,” Peral said. “I couldn’t believe it. I see it with my eyes but I cannot believe it still. I cannot.”
But despite the devastation, Peral says her boss has already said he will rebuild.
Voung says he will too. And he wants his customers to know, “we’re OK and we’ll be back… we’ll be back for the community again.”
@StanislausFIU investigators assisted @ModestoFire #ceresfire #scfpd crews with a Massive Commercial Three Alarm #fire response in the 1100 blk of Carver Rd #modesto. O&C invest revealed this fire was an act of #arson. @ModestoPolice have located & arrested the suspect #firealert pic.twitter.com/soETO2GWHR
— Stanislaus Regional FIU (@StanislausFIU) June 9, 2019