Fire swept through a shop in San Diego's Center City last weekend. One business was completely destroyed and a nearby taco shop was damaged. Centro Botanico La Santisima on Imperial Avenue was gutted in the blaze. The cause of the blaze has been inked to lit candles inside the store.
Who would leave candles burning in a closed shop? Well, it might sound a bit less shocking when you learn that this was no ordinary business. It was an occult shop, catering to practitioners of Santería and other African diasporic religions.
Or Hoodoo, if you wish to overly simplify matters.
Approximately $250,000 in damage was caused to the structure and an additional $90,000 worth of products, such as herbs and amulets, burned up in the flames. Local practitioners have been devastated at the loss of the only shop of its kind in the neighborhood.
Candles don't come with that "don't leave candles burning unattended" warning without reason, people. I know it looks pretty to have the soft glow setting the mood in a metaphysical shop, but at 4:00 in the morning, no one is there to see it!
Unfortunately, all those amulets and protective concoctions didn't do a lick of good. Perhaps it would be wise for other shop owners to take down that bunch of mandrake root and put up a smoke detector instead.