3-alarm fire rips through Salem strip mall - KPTV - FOX 12

Three-alarm fire rips through Salem strip mall

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A three-alarm fire ripped through a strip mall in Salem Monday night, and investigators are trying to figure out how it started.

The flames broke out at 11 p.m. in the 1000 block of Lancaster Drive Northeast.

No one was hurt, but four businesses were completely destroyed, including Pedro Escobar's family butcher shop.

"We thought it was a robbery maybe, but someone else called me and said, 'Oh the place is on fire,'" Escobar said. "We're like, we couldn't believe it. We got here and saw the thing burning down."

Investigators don't yet know how or where the fire started, but a video sent in by a FOX 12 viewer might help lead to answers.

It's a cell phone video that was posted on Facebook, showing two young men watching the fire from behind a nearby fence.

They talk about what stores they think are on fire, and then one man says, "I went in there and I threw a firework. I thought it was just going to be a harmless joke."

Brittany Green is Facebook friends with the man who posted the video.

She's not sure if they were serious about starting the fire, but either way, she said it's upsetting.

"I don't understand why anyone would say that they did this and then turn around and say, 'Oh, well we were just joking,'" said Green.

FOX 12 gave the cell phone video to investigators along with the names associated with it.

Officials said they are looking into it.

Escobar said his family wants to reopen their store as soon as possible, but right now it is still a shock.

"You know, New Year's Eve. We're expecting a new year coming, hoping for better times. But we'll get through it."

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