"We had everything from cat and dog food to bird cages -- you name it -- coming right out so it was quite the scene," said Rancho Santa Fe Fire Battalion Chief Mike Gibbs.
Firefighters arrived at San Rodolfo Drive around 3 a.m. Monday after being notified the pet store had about two feet of water inside.
Crews determined there was a water leak in the back of the store that looks like it was caused by the fire sprinkler supply line that came into the building had sheared off, Gibbs said.
The Staples and Marshalls stores reported up to eight inches of water. A lot of merchandise was damaged include bags of wet dog and cat food left stacked in the mall parking lot.
"It's the holiday season so it's going obviously to be hard for all of these occupants," said Gibbs. "They lost a lot of inventory and suffered a lot of damage."
"Wrong time of year to have that happen," he said.
Four engine companies and one truck company responded to the call. The businesses may be closed for more than a day as they recover from the damage. The restaurants and the rest of the shops in the plaza are open for business.