PEORIA, AZ - Peoria fire was called to a strip mall Tuesday night near 99th avenue and Peoria avenue for a 2nd alarm fire.
Almost immediately fire crews had to go defensive, meaning they couldn't get inside and had to focus on preventing the fire from spreading to neighboring shops.
Peoria fire Captain Tony Neely said, "(Usually), our first goal is to get inside and do a search. There was so much fire, we couldn't risk putting crews in there."
The fire began inside a beauty college that wasn't equipped with sprinklers. Investigators are treating the case as an arson case.
Three gas cans were discovered in the parking lot and are being considered as evidence, according to investigators.
Four businesses were directly impacted. Two units in the middle of the mall had fire damage, the others had smoke damage.
Fire crews will be investigating the scene Wednesday.
Stay with abc15.com for updates on this fire.