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Bayshore district apartment complex damaged by 2-alarm fire

Fire in Tampa on South Carolina Ave on 6/28/2022
2-alarm fire in Tampa on 6/28/2022
Posted at 3:30 PM, Jun 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-28 23:13:38-04

TAMPA, Fla. — A two-alarm fire erupted at the Kansas Avenue Apartments on West Kansas Avenue in Tampa Tuesday afternoon.

Tampa Fire Rescue said the initial call of a fire came in at 2:30 p.m. Neighbors told ABC Action News that lights flickered in the neighborhood right before they saw smoke coming from the building.

Heavy smoke could be seen for miles coming from the complex in the Bayshore district as firefighters battled the blaze and worked to put out any hot spots. According to Tampa Fire Rescue, the fire appears to have started on the roof of the complex.

No one was inside at the time of the fire. One person and a pet were evacuated from a building next door to the fire.

The blaze kept many people who lived in other buildings and homes nearby, like Ava Russo, stranded outside and waiting for answers.

"They sent us a text and I raced over because I wasn't sure," she said.

Russo tells ABC Action News that her cat, Mimosa, was stuck inside her apartment and she was worried the fire could spread, leaving the cat trapped.

"I just really wanted to get her and leave so now that I have her I'm happy," she said.

Tampa Fire Rescue said there was a real concern about firefighters and others dealing with the fire and the overall heat outside. ABC Action News' chief meteorologist Denis Phillips said the temperature was around 94 degrees with a heat index of 100 degrees.

To help keep crews refreshed, Tampa Fire Rescue Spokesperson Vivian McIlrath says they called for extra rigs so firefighters on the scene could take more breaks.

"We want to make sure all of our firefighters stay hydrated and nobody goes home hurt," she said.

By Tuesday evening, Tampa Fire rescue said everything was under control, but they will be keeping someone on the scene to watch the building for any potential hot spots and because the building is now unstable.