Fire spokesman Brian Humphrey tells KCAL-TV the blaze started just before 10 p.m. Tuesday in vegetation along the U.S. 101 Freeway, then leapt to the nearby building and surged, sending towering flames into the sky for nearly an hour.
About 100 firefighters were at the scene and many entered the building in an attempt to stop the fire quickly, but after five were hurt they fled and switched to a defensive posture, spraying water from a distance.
Humphrey described the injuries as largely superficial.
He said the building will be a total loss. It's not clear what kind of businesses it houses.