Overnight fire destroys Tampa recreation center

The rec center was under renovations
Posted at 4:21 AM, Dec 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-01 17:16:45-05

Hillsborough County Fire Rescue crews say an overnight fire destroyed a recreation center being renovated. 

Officials say firefighters responded to the call at 2:57 a.m. and were in a defensive mode to put out the fire. 

As of 4:28 a.m. the fire was under control. Flames were seen coming out of the roof of the center. 




The building, located at 7624 Destin Drive in Tampa, is home to the Winston Park Recreation Center. 

The recreation center was under renovations from a $2.5 million dollar gift from Jeff and Penny Vinik, owners of the Tampa Bay Lightning. The family wanted to revitalize the recreation center to get it back up and running to give the children in the area a safe place to go and play. 

The Winston Park Boys and Girls Club was temporarily closed during construction. 

The fire destroyed the recreation center after burning into the early morning hours. 

Jeff Vinik is currently out of town, but he did release a statement on the fire:

“Penny and I were very saddened to learn of the fire at Winston Park this morning and we are primarily disappointed for the kids and the community that the recreation center is designed to serve, especially as the facility neared completion. We will do everything we can in working with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Tampa Bay to help facilitate reconstruction.”  

RELATED | Vinik family to renovate Winston Park Boys & Girls Club





The Director of Development and Communications for the Boys & Girls Club of Tampa Bay released a statement regarding the fire: 

It is with a heavy heart that our President & CEO, Chris Letsos, share the below statement regarding the fire at Winston Park this morning:

“The Boys & Girls Clubs of Tampa Bay, its leadership team, Board of Directors, and staff are saddened to share news of a fire that has destroyed what was to be the Vinik Family Foundation Boys & Girls Club at Winston Park. We are working with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, Tampa Fire Department and Hillsborough County to determine the potential cause and are fully cooperating with authorities as they proceed with investigation. We feel very fortunate that nobody was inside the building and are happy to report that no one was hurt while battling the blaze. This incident affects us all deeply, not only as an organization but as a community. The Vinik Family Foundation Boys & Girls Club was a transformational project that was on target to change the community of Winston Park for the better. It is our hope that this event will not deter us from our progress and we are committed to finding a solution once all investigations are completed. We are now asking for the support of our partners, our friends, and our community as we navigate through this devastating news. Should you have any questions or concerns, please contact me at 813-769-7528 or”

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