Firefighters respond to a blaze at Porcino restaurant on Hyde Park Rd. in London, June 30, 2016. (Photo courtesy of Jeremy Stevenson via Twitter)

‘Profound Sadness’ Felt After Fire Destroys London Strip Mall (GALLERY)

A number of London business have been destroyed following a fire at a Hyde Park strip mall.

The London Fire Department responded to the blaze on Thursday around 6pm at 1700 Hyde Park Rd., where the fire reportedly spread to 18 businesses within the strip mall.

President of the Hyde Park Business Association Donna Szpakowski says of those businesses, eight to ten sustained the most damage. She says she feels “profound sadness” over the loss that has impacted the businesses owners.

“These business have struggled through road construction twice, we just came out the other end, we’ve just had some great aspirations working together, and [now] this is really a big setback for all of them,” she says.”They’ve just gone through a profound loss; for some of them it’s their entire livelihood.”

Szpakowski says the BIA will be working with Ward 7 Councillor Josh Morgan to do what they can to help the businesses affected by the fire.

“We’re here to help businesses with their needs… we will do everything we can to help them rebuild,” she says. “How we help them, I don’t know. This is something that we will figure out as we move forward as a business association and as community. We all need to come together to rebuild.”

No injuries have been reported as a result of the fire.

A damage estimate is unknown at this time as is the cause of the fire, which remains under investigation.

Police were forced to close Hyde Park Rd. from Gainsborough Rd. to Fanshawe Park Rd. W while emergency crews were at the scene.