Four businesses in Surrey’s Whalley neighbourhood were damaged Sunday night after a massive blaze tore through a strip mall.

A Mexican restaurant and barber shop at King George Boulevard and 106 Avenue were gutted by fire when flames broke out at the back of the building around 10:30 p.m.

Witnesses reported seeing flames higher than the roof of the building.

A women’s clothing store and church ministry office were also damaged by smoke and water.

Part of the mall is locked at night so crews had to cut through the gate to get access when they arrived.

“All businesses in today’s environment unfortunately have to take extra measures to try to secure their premises,” said Surrey Fire Dept. Battalion Chief Gary McHarg.

It took 20 firefighters to put out the fire, which appears to be centred around the restaurant. No one was inside at the time and no firefighters were injured.

The block where the strip mall sits has been the site of a homeless camp and two weeks ago the elderly landlord of the mall was attacked outside. He and his family said they were too scared to speak to CTV News.

The cause of the fire has not been identified.

With files from CTV Vancouver’s Nafeesa Karim