TAMPA - Investigators from Tampa Police believe a fire at the Family Superstore in East Tampa was arson.
"It's kind of strange," said Tommie Mathis.
Mathis works at Liquor Avenue right next door.
"I was at home resting, but my coworker called me and told me the store beside us was on fire," he recalled.
Crews responded to the call for help just after 1 a.m. Thursday morning.
"A citizen saw smoke coming from the Family Superstore and immediately called Tampa Fire Rescue," said Janelle McGregor, Tampa Police Department.
According to Tampa Police, it took over 50 firefighters to put out the blaze. Once they did, investigators became suspicious.
"They found hair accessories and other miscellaneous merchandise from inside the store, outside on the ground. They knew, then, more than just a fire occurred," McGregor explained.
Police now believe the fire was set to hide a burglary.
Mathis said he's not surprised. "It's a bad neighborhood."
Investigators now need your help.
"The store is located at the corner of a very busy intersection and it's also surrounded by homes. So, we're hoping maybe one of the residents in the area heard or saw something suspicious during the time of the fire," McGregor said.
Anyone with information can call CrimeStoppers at 1-800-873-TIPS.
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