A 3-alarm fire severely damaged a warehouse for Lightning RV Supply late Monday night and forced deputies to temporarily close a portion of U.S. 301 in Thonotosassa. UPDATE: As of 6:05 a.m., 301 is back open.
The fire began around the same time severe weather rolled through the Tampa Bay area. A Lightning RV employee was at the business and said he heard loud boom. He went outside to see what caused the sound and saw the area around the meter on fire. That is when he called 911.
Hillsborough County Fire Rescue crews arrived on scene to find smoke and flames pouring through the warehouse's roof. Authorities immediately called for a second alarm on the structure.
Authorities positioned two fire trucks to attack the fire by spraying water on the flames to prevent them from spreading to nearby homes.
Fire crews say the steel roof of the 10,000-square-foot warehouse made direct contact with the flames, compromising its integrity. Firefighters then went into a defensive mode, restricting all efforts to extinguish the fire to the outside of the warehouse.
Officials report firefighters made sure the threat from all hazardous items, including propane tanks and packing material, were mitigated during their initial attack on the fire.
Authorities report no firefighters suffered any injuries battling the fire.
A Fire Investigator is on scene investigating if a lightning strike sparked the fire.