SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — Two firefighters suffered minor injuries while battling a three-alarm fire that tore through a two-story restaurant and caused an estimated $4.5 million in total damage to a Kearny Mesa strip mall, authorities said Tuesday.
The popular, 17-year-old restaurant on the corner of Convoy and Engineer has certainly seen much better days.
Firefighters responded shortly before 9:30 p.m. Monday to reports of a fire at the China Max Seafood Restaurant, near the corner of Convoy Street and Engineer Road, according to the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department. No one was inside when firefighters arrived.
At one point, all the windows of the restaurant were blown out by a "smoke explosion" and the flames spread from the first floor to the second floor, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
A total of 123 firefighters worked to extinguish the flames, which were knocked down around 1:05 a.m., the department reported.
Two firefighters were taken to Sharp Memorial Hospital for treatment of minor injuries, but they have both been released from the hospital, fire officials said.
As of 8 a.m. Tuesday, crews remained at the scene to monitor hot spots and perform overhaul on the two-story, multi-suite building.
The blaze damaged several businesses next to the two-story restaurant, but it was not immediately clear how many businesses were affected.
The fire caused an estimated $3 million in damage to businesses in the strip mall and $1.5 million in damage to their contents, fire officials said.
Metro Arson Strike Team investigators were looking into the cause of the fire.