Awning collapses at Tampa shopping plaza, stores evacuated

Posted at 10:28 PM, Dec 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-29 05:24:20-05

It was a scary scene at a busy Tampa shopping plaza when a store awning collapsed while customers were shopping. 

Hillsborough County Fire Rescue responded to the reported structural collapse on Wednesday night. 

According to officials, Hillsborough County Fire Rescue received a call of a structural collapse at the Nutrition S'mart store at the intersection of Bearss Avenue and Ehrlich Road at approximately 5:55 p.m. When firefighters arrived on scene they reported the awning had collapsed in front of the business.

There were a total of 14 businesses forced to close due to the incident. No injuries were reported, according to officials.

"I'm glad nobody was hurt," Heather Milling said.

Milling and her family wanted to shop at Michaels, which is a few doors down from Nutrition S'Mart, but it was closed.

"I looked and the entire ceiling had caved/fallen in and I was just like kind of….kind of nervous," Danyele Kelly said.

According to the Hillsborough County Rapid Response team, a total of 8 businesses from Nutrition S'Mart to an insurance company will remain closed until a civil engineer determines they are structurally safe to reopen. Authorities said there are a number of steps that need to take place before those stores will open to customers.

"I think it was smart. You don't know if the rest of it is going to collapse," Milling said.

Crews have not determined the cause of the roof collapse.