Fire destroys local motorcycle gang home, crews heard at least 2 explosions

Posted at 5:18 AM, Aug 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-25 19:02:20-04

A local motorcycle gang clubhouse was destroyed on 18th Avenue South in St. Petersburg early Friday, fire officials with St. Petersburg Fire & Rescue confirm. 

Crews responded to the home after midnight. When they arrived on scene they found the house completely engulfed in flames. They are now looking into this as an arson investigation.

Fire leaders say the home was vacant at the time of the fire.

Dispatch tells ABC Action News that crews heard at least two explosions while battling the flames. 

The roof of the home collapsed. 

Neighbors say the home was completing extensive renovations at the time of the fire construction as there was a lot of building equipment on the property. 

18th Avenue South was completely shut down Friday morning. 

This fire comes after the I-team recently reported a rise in violence amongst many of the motorcycle gangs.

Just two days after the story last month, someone shot the Outlaws chapter president , James Costa, while he was riding his bike in Hillsborough County.

As for this fire, samples of possible accelerants are being sent to a lab for testing.

Arson investigators have ruled out any type of drug activity that may have caused the explosion. They are looking at gang retaliation as a possible factor.