Prince George's County firefighters spent part of Saturday morning battling a fire at a Hillcrest Heights shopping mall made worse by strong winds.
Fire crews found heavy smoke pouring from the roof of a clothing store in the strip mall, located on the 3200 block of Branch Avenue, when they arrived about 3:30 a.m., according to spokesman Mark Brady.
"The wind was whipping that fire in every which direction," Brady said. "It probably assisted in the extension of the fire to stores on either side."
At the height of the fire, firefighters were forced to evacuate as the roof buckled and collapsed. Crews were eventually able to knock down the fire and prevent it from spreading any further. No firefighters were injured.
The blaze caused an estimated $100,000 in damage to the three stores it touched, Brady said.