Damage was expected to run high, and some observers estimated it would exceed $200,000.
Marcus and Billie Rosenwasser, owners of The Boutique, estimated their loss to be about $100,000. Added to that figure will be damage to the building and fixtures owned by Caprock Shopping Center Inc., fire, water and smoke damage to The Boutique and smoke damage, in varying degrees, to the other seven shops in the mall, including Furr's Cafeteria.
District Fire Chief Roy Sanford declined to make an estimate of the overall damage but indicated it would be heavy.
Sanford said the blaze started in a storage room in the southeast corner of The Boutique, spreading to the ceiling and into the shoe store.
He said he had not been able to determine what caused the fire and that Fire Marshal A.C. Black would examine the debris this morning.
Almost all the shops already had closed when the fire was discovered about 6:15 p.m.
The fire was out about 20 minutes after firemen arrived.