Nearly 24 hours after the fire broke out area businesses got their first look at how bad the damage to their buildings was.
The Director of the Ybor City Jazz House, Crystal Hill-Murray, said after watching the fire collapse the roof of the Amphitheater next door, she thought they would have a ton of damage.
“The very first thought that came to mind was ‘wow all that hard work down the drain,’” Hill-Murray said. “I cried, I really did. We really worked hard in the last two years to really build our brand and thankfully we walked in and it's not as bad as we thought.”
Despite heavy smoke and water damage the flames didn’t spread to their building. On the roof of the Jazz House you could see how the fire stopped dead in it’s tracks on the fire wall.
Firefighters continued throughout the night hitting the building with water to keep the fire from spreading.
Two people who live next to the Amphitheater are receiving assistance by the Red Cross while engineers determine whether the structure is safe for people to return and start to clean-up and resume their normal lives.
“I would just like to thank the Tampa Fire Department, man, for containing it,” Stephen “Marley” Kesselring said. There was only two people displaced last night, it was me and my roommate and the Red Cross took very good care of us.”
Marley said everything he owns is in his apartment. He works two jobs to be able to live in Ybor City and carve out a life for himself. He has jobs at Gaspar’s Grotto and Hamburger Mary’s. He said the most important thing he wanted to let people know is that Ybor City will bounce back, and to thank the firefighters.
“They saved the building, they saved everything that I owned, and I am beyond thankful for that,” Marley said. “Tampa fire, those guys, I tip my hat to those guys. If there is anything I can do for those guys, I got em. They protected everything that I own.”
Two firefighters were treated and released for smoke inhalation.
A welder who was trying to install a new bracket to relocate a disco ball tells the Tampa Fire department that his work may be the reason a historic Ybor City building was destroyed.