Saturday, June 16, 2018
Public safety

Condo fire prompts evacuation, cautious response near St. Joseph's Hospital

TAMPA — Police and fire responded to the Habana Park condominiums near St. Joseph's Hospital Tuesday for what officials said was an arson and suicide in an upstairs unit.

About 12:40 p.m. a resident in a downstairs unit called 911 because there was water coming out of the light fixtures on the ceiling of the condominium unit.

Firefighters went upstairs to Unit 142 at 4702 Michael Court, but the man there would not answer the door, so they backed out to a safe location. They sent for a manager with a key and police were called to the scene.

At 1:28 p.m., firefighters on the scene radioed that there was a fire in the upstairs unit, so they went in to extinguish it. Inside, they found the resident, Anthony M. Leone, 60, dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. They brought the fire under control by 1:43 p.m.

No one else was injured, though other residents in the building were evacuated during the incident. The Tampa Fire Marshal's Office ruled the fire to be an arson set by Leone. Damage to the two-story, wood-frame building and household contents inside was estimated at $11,000.

A hazardous materials team and the police bomb squad were called in once the fire was out because of a suspicion that there might be hazardous materials on the scene, but that turned out not to be the case.

"It was just a precaution to make sure everyone was safe," Tampa Fire Rescue spokesman Jason Penny said late Tuesday.

Three lanes of N Habana Avenue were closed until early Tuesday evening while investigators worked at the scene.

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