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All Eyes - Reporting with a camera

All Eyes photo gallery: A bird’s eye view of last week’s fire at the Amp in Ybor City

(April 6, 2016) Tampa Fire Rescue battles a three-alarm nightclub fire at 1609 E. 7th Ave. in Ybor City. It is believed that a welder doing work in the building started the blaze. The Amphitheatre nightclub has been a popular club in the area for many years. [Luis Santana | Times]



I have shot countless parties, DJs, and concerts at the Amphitheatre in Ybor City during my 10+ years as a photographer with the Times. So when I received a tip from a friend that there was a 3-alarm fire at 1609 E. 7th Avenue in Ybor City I knew exactly what building it was. My first thought was to look at my watch to see the day of the week and time. I wondered if a show was going on at the time. The Amp, as it is known, was not actually holding a party or show that night, so there was no danger of people being packed inside of a burning nightclub.

I responded to Ybor City from my house in Brandon and set up my cameras in Centro Ybor along with the other media. I noticed that the fire continued to rage on and firefighters were having difficulty knocking down the fire because of hazards inside the building. I also noticed that the smoke was getting very thick in the media area. I had to come up with a Plan B. I looked up on the balconies in the area and noticed that Hamburger Mary's was right in front of the Amp and had a great view.

I packed up my gear and made my way inside. After getting permission from the staff, I set up my cameras and photographed, Periscoped and shot video of the fire from a vantage point that was great. I later learned that, a few minutes after I relocated, they moved all of the media and bystanders back far away.

The result was a series of shots from a different perspective of a fire at an historic building.

Luis Santana
Staff Photographer
Tampa Bay Times and tbt*
Find Me Online At:
IG: LSantanaPhoto

Visit the Times image archive to license or purchase reprints of any of these photos.

[Last modified: Thursday, April 14, 2016 10:27am]


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