An early morning, four-alarm fire at a Union City strip mall Wednesday damaged 10 businesses and left one firefighter injured.
The fire was reported around 1 a.m. when an employee at one of the businesses near the intersection of Alvarado Boulevard and Dyer Street smelled smoke and called firefighters.
Fire investigators said the fire began at the right-side, corner business and spread to 10 other units in the mall.
Firefighters used so much water to extinguish the fire that at least several inches of water had made a shallow "lake" in the shopping center parking lot.
According to Alameda County firefighter Dave Loro, the seriousness of the blaze surprised firefighters, including one who injured his hand while putting it out.
"You pull up and you see a little bit of fire at the front door, you're thinking OK, no big deal. But then you get inside, you make a better assessment, all the sudden the roof's coming down on you...you can't get people here fast enough," Loro said.