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East Tampa apartment building destroyed by fire

East Tampa apartment building destroyed by fire
Posted at 10:40 PM, May 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-18 05:33:31-04

TAMPA, Fla. — A fire destroyed a two-story building after someone improperly disposed of a cigar.

Tampa Fire Rescue responded to a fire at a building on East Lake Avenue in Tampa around 5:20 p.m. Tuesday.

The fire started on the balcony of a second story apartment and traveled into the attic space. Firefighters attacked the fire from the inside until it became unsafe to stay inside the building.

"Crews did the best that they could from the inside," Tampa Fire Rescue Captain Henry Williams said. "Once it became imminent that the roof might come down, our crews were removed from the structure."

Firefighters got the fire under control within 60 minutes. Everyone made it safely out of the building.

"It's an older building," Williams said. "I'm not sure of the age of the building, but anytime you have a structure that has a flat roof, a common space attic space which means the fire can travel more easily or more rapidly."

Tampa Fire Rescue said two apartments were impacted, but one of the units is vacant.

Firefighters said the fire started after someone improperly disposed of a cigar.