LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A strip mall on Breckenridge Lane in the St. Matthews area is expected to be a total loss after crews spent hours getting the fire under control late Monday afternoon.
The roof of the strip mall in the 100 block Breckenridge Lane collapsed, as the two-alarm fire spread to several businesses. The fire was reported around 5 p.m., just a block away from a busy intersection with Shelbyville Road.
When fire crews arrived they were in offensive mode, but Louisville Fire & Rescue Chief Greg Frederick says the building had multiple roofs, making it hard on firefighters. When the roof started to collapse, they had to go into defensive mode.
About 60 firefighters fought flames as onlookers watched in shock. The fire was brought under control around 7:30 p.m.
Frederick says one firefighter was treated after he fell through the roof, and another became overheated at the scene.
"We had one that just got overheated," Frederick said. "Anytime we have a fire like this, we have EMS on the scene. We also do rehab, we have a unit that brings in cold water, things like that, to try to keep them hydrated....
"We also had a guy that fell -- we're not sure if he went all the way through the roof or if he just went into a hole. But he's OK, he's accounted for."
Frederick says no other injuries were reported.
The chief says the fire started in an electrical closet and spread to the attic, which is shared above businesses, including a computer shop and a Domino's Pizza. He says the initial call was for an electrical fire at the Simply Mac store.
We're told the fire started around 4:45 p.m. That's when Ethan Beverly, a worker at Dominos, told WDRB an employee from Simply Mac asked to borrow a fire extinguisher to put out a small fire.
"A minute or two later, I ask him if he's got everything under control," Beverly said. "He says 'no.' He can't get back into the building at this point. I go look myself, and one step in you're already choking.
Frederick said they received the first call around 4:55 p.m., and arrived five minutes later.
"When units got inside, it had progressed up into the attic of the building," Frederick said. "And we had two different roofs on the building -- the fire spread quickly over top of several businesses."
The strip mall's design made fighting the fire complicated.
"And then behind this facade, there are several buildings that over the years have been meshed together into one large complex," Frederick said.
For the other affected businesses, like Domino's and Scheller's Fitness and Cycling, the destruction was hard to watch.
"It's a little bit heartbreaking," Beverly said. "It's basically my second home. And now it's gone."
"We're just really grateful nobody got hurt," said Greg Scheller. "It could have been an explosion. It could have been something a lot worse. We'll just take it one day at a time, and in the big scheme of things this is not that big of a deal."
Arson officials are investigating, which is standard procedure.
Copyright 2019 WDRB Media. All Rights Reserved.