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Tampa fire investigators rule arson cause of closed Ybor City business fire on Eighth Avenue

Posted at 10:29 AM, Mar 11, 2017

Tampa fire investigators determined one or more individuals entered a building in the 1500 block of Eighth Avenue in Ybor City early Saturday and set fires at multiple locations, Tampa Fire Rescue said.

The building at 1512 Eighth Ave. in Tampa most recently housed the Ybor Resort and Spa. The building currently is vacant.

Fires set at "multiple points of origin" caused moderate smoke and fire damage throughout the building, Tampa Fire Rescue spokesman Jason Penny said in a statement.

The person or people responsible left the property without being seen. 

Firefighters found heavy smoke and flames coming from the roof of the two-story masonry building when they arrived on scene about 3:30 a.m. They were able to quickly get the fire under control.

Damage to the structure is estimated at $100,000. The investigation continues.

Tampa Fire Rescue is asking anyone with information about the incident to contact the Fire Marshal's Office at (813) 274-7000. You also provide information anonymously at a tips page at www.tampagov.net/arsontips.

Fire officials encourage witnesses to call 911 immediately. Rewards of up to $2,500 or more are available for information leading to the identity of the person or people responsible for the arson, authorities said.