SAN ANTONIO - A fire that sparked above a north side gelato shop prompted the evacuation of a half dozen businesses in a strip center at the Shops of Lincoln Heights.
The fire started just after 3 p.m. above Paciugo Gelato Cafe in the 900 block of E. Basse Road near The Quarry.
The flames sparked in the attic above the sprinkler system, according to San Antonio fire Chief Charles Hood.
All the businesses in the building were evacuated, including Pei Wei, Panera Bread, Sushi Zushi, Order Up and Slater White Cleaners.
Hood said more than 100 firefighters from 27 fire companies responded to the fire. The extra firefighters were called in because of the extreme outside temperatures.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Hood said it started somewhere near the roof and could be related to the electrical or air conditioning systems. Employees at several of the businesses told firefighters they smelled smoke earlier in the day.
"If you smell smoke, call the fire department right away. Don't wait for the A/C company or building maintenance," Hood said.
Most of the fire damage occurred at Paciugo and to the breezeway in front of the shop, but the smoke reached all the businesses in the building.
The electricity to the building was out while firefighters worked to put out the flames, so health inspectors will need to make sure the food at the affected restaurants is safe before those restaurants can reopen.
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