TAMPA — A fire alarm late in the day on the Fourth of July prompted Tampa International Airport officials to start moving people from the main terminal to parking garages or curb sides, but only briefly.
"I wouldn’t call it an evacuation," airport spokesman Danny Valentine told the Tampa Bay Times on Thursday. "It was a fire alarm that lasted for five minutes, and we started clearing the Main Terminal as is protocol. People returned quickly and no flights were delayed."
An alarm went off from 5:55 to 6 p.m. after an oven hood malfunctioned and began smoking in the kitchen at the Hard Rock Cafe in the main terminal, Valentine said. No one was injured, and airport operations soon returned to normal.
The alarm and the airport’s response did not affect operations at the airsides or flights to and from the airport. Over the course of the day, the airport had 131 flight delays, or about 34 percent of the total, but Valentine said that’s not particularly high for a day when there was as much lightning in the area as there was on Wednesday.
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