Some San Jose business owners may have to relocate due to fire

Lilian Kim Image
ByLilian Kim KGO logo
Thursday, June 16, 2016
Some San Jose business owners may have to relocate due to fire
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Some business owners are sad they may have to relocate after a 4-alarm fire ripped through most of the Cahalan Square Shopping Center in San Jose early Wednesday morning.

SAN JOSE (KGO) -- People in a San Jose neighborhood are sad that a popular shopping spot that's in ruins after a fire broke out early Wednesday morning.

Most of the Cahalan Square Shopping Center at the corner of Cahalan Avenue and Santa Teresa Boulevard is now destroyed.

The fire department says the walls and roof could collapse which is why there's a fence to keep people at a safe distance.

People have been coming by all day to see the destruction first hand.

The Cahalan Square Shopping Center had been the go-to spot for the neighborhood, for everything from ice cream to pet food.

But overnight, flames destroyed about a dozen businesses. "It's like our childhood's gone, this little shopping mall you know. To see it all burned up like this is just devastating," neighbor Cheryl Hunt said.

What's even more devastating for the business owners who lost everything. Edward Eslan owned Etminan Market, an Iranian grocery store. "I worked 14 to 15 hours a day to upgrade the business, to improve the business," Eslan said.

A battalion chief with the San Jose Fire Department gave everyone an update. It appears the fire started behind the Mexican restaurant and made its way inside the building through the attic where it spread quickly.

Business owners aren't sure what to do next. Hair stylist Thanhmy Tran may have to relocate. She rented a chair at Deluxe Hair Design. "It's a nice atmosphere to work together, now we might have to be separated. That's really hard for me," Tran said.

Hard on the neighbors too, that the shops they've relied on over the years face an uncertain future.