3 businesses destroyed in 5-alarm fire

More than 200 firefighters rushed to the scene of a five-alarm fire that engulfed a strip of stores in University Heights.



The flames broke out at around 5:30 a.m. Wednesday, completely destroying three businesses on University and West Burnside avenues, and damaging two others.



The fire chief says it appears that the blaze started inside a 99-cent store, then jumped to a pizzeria and a new laundromat.



Salomon Rojas, owner of Sal's Pizza, says the destruction of his eatery will make the impending holidays incredibly difficult, and he's not sure how he'll recover from the loss.



Three firefighters suffered minor injuries as they battled the flames and heavy smoke, which penetrated apartments and forced traffic detours.



The cause remains under investigation.


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