SOLOMONS, Md. (AP/WJZ) — Two pets were saved from a veterinary medical center when a fire broke out at a southern Maryland strip mall on Monday night, State Fire Marshals said.

Credit: Maryland Fire Marshal’s Office

Firefighters dispatched around 10:45 p.m. for a building fire found the strip mall in Solomons ablaze. Fire departments from Calvert, St. Mary’s, and Charles counties responded to bring the fire under control, officials said.

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The business affected are Solomons Veterinary Medical Center, Patuxent Adventure Center, Vintage Treasures and Used Furniture, Tiki Tanning and Boutique, and HLW Electric.

Firefighters were able to rescue two pets and no injuries were reported, officials said.

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Excavators were brought to the scene to help remove heavy debris as investigators work to determine the origin and cause of the fire. Initial reports included witnesses hearing an explosion before the fire, but officials said this has not been confirmed.

On Tuesday afternoon, investigators determined a candle being used by a homeless person taking refuge inside a camper ignited then spread. The 38-year-old man did escape the fire, but then fled the area. Investigators identified the man and took him to an area hospital for an unrelated medical emergency.

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