TAMPA — The fire at Waterman's Crossing apartments Monday morning has been ruled arson, a code enforcement inspector said.
The fire began around 8 a.m. in a vacant unit at 4515 N Rome Ave., and was extinguished in about 45 minutes. The damage is estimated at $500,000.
Tampa Fire spokesman Capt. Bill Wade said 25 of the building's 36 units were occupied.
Wade said more than 50 people were displaced, and the American Red Cross and the apartment's managers will help them find temporary shelter.
It was the second arson fire in a month at the complex.
Tampa code enforcement inspector Jack Ciucio said he would condemn the building because of the extensive damage. Ciucio said there didn't appear to be any code violations and, as far as he knew, all the fire alarms were working.
The complex was cited for numerous code violations in September, including fire alarm systems, but deemed compliant on Dec. 30. Records show the complex is owned by AHF Bay Fund LLC, bought for $19.2 million.
Times researcher Shirl Kennedy and staff writer Steven Overly contributed to this report.