Ashes set fire to Reggie's rib shack
A north Howard Avenue barbecue restaurant took a $50,000 hit Saturday after smoldering cooking-pit ashes burst into flames around 8 a.m., Tampa Fire Rescue officials said. No one was hurt in the blaze at Reggie's Rib Shack. Officials said there wasn't any damage to nearby properties, including the gas station attached to Reggie's. An employee at Reggie's, 1301 N Howard Ave., likely forgot to fully extinguish the ashes when closing the restaurant Friday evening, officials said. When another employee opened the restaurant Saturday morning, the sudden current of fresh air likely ignited the ashes, Fire Rescue Capt. Bill Wade said. The flames then spread throughout the cooking area and into the roof, Wade said.
Brush fire results in evacuation order
Polk County officials issued a mandatory evacuation order for 200 homes and whisked 50 children away from a camp near a brush fire that has scorched 200 acres in central Florida.
About 70 firefighters are battling the fire in Lake Wales. Officials issued a reverse 911 call for the home evacuations. The 50 children were being taken from a Lions Camp to a nearby Red Cross shelter. The shelter was set up at a recreation center.
Officials say windy conditions could fuel the fire's spread.
Woman falls to death from motel balcony
A vacationing Maryland woman died after falling from an eighth-floor motel balcony.
Daytona Beach police say 30-year-old Heather Crawford of Frostburg, Md., was standing or sitting on the railing when she fell just before 3 a.m. Saturday.
Foul play is not suspected.
Crawford is the second Daytona Beach visitor in a week to suffer a fatal balcony fall. Last Sunday, a 16-year-old Minnesota boy fell to his death after stacking some chairs on top of each other to get a better view of the sunrise.
Officials see alcohol role in murder-suicide
Authorities are investigating what appears to be a drunken murder-suicide among friends.
The Broward County Sheriff's Office says three men had been drinking around 12:30 a.m. Saturday at the apartment of Joseph Blanco, 32, when Jack Benrube, 24, had an asthma attack and crawled toward a balcony. Blanco apparently thought Matthew Lennon, 26, who was passed out in a chair, had hurt Benrube.
Authorities say Blanco shot Benrube in the arm — mistakenly, detectives believe — before he shot Lennon in the chest then turned the gun on himself. Blanco and Lennon were dead at the scene. Benrube was treated at a hospital.
Times staff and wires