Electrical issue suspected in Slidell strip mall fire

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wwltv.com

Posted on October 25, 2012 at 7:57 PM

Updated Thursday, Oct 25 at 8:01 PM

Ashley Rodrigue / Eyewitness News
Email: arodrigue@wwltv.com | Twitter: @ashleyrwwl

SLIDELL, La. -- Investigators think electrical problems may have caused a big fire at a Slidell strip mall Wednesday night.

Ten businesses in the Corporate Square shopping center were affected by the fire; four from flames and water, the other six from smoke. SuperCuts and We Buy Gold caught the brunt of the damage.

Firefighters say the blaze started in the attic space above the SuperCuts and spread across the complex through breaches in the firewalls, which made it a challenge to even decide to fight it.

“Once they get into an attic space, obviously routes of escape are cut off, you're in a confined space, the heat builds up, the smoke goes to zero visibility," said St. Tammany Parish Fire District #1 Chief Larry Hess.

Thursday morning, some businesses were busy turning away customers while others were already starting the clean-up. Investigators spent the morning continuing their search for the official cause.

Aside from the financial hit because of the damage to the building and the closure of the businesses, some are worried about their job status, just weeks before the holiday season begins.

"I hope that everything gets back because I have a family to support," said barber Isaac Burns, who was in the SuperCuts when the fire started.

An official estimate on the cost of the damage isn’t complete.

There’s no word on when any of the businesses will open again.

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