TAMPA — A fire turned an Egypt Lake home into a smoldering pile of rubble, closing streets and saturating the quiet neighborhood in smoke early Thursday morning.
The fire began about 6 a.m. at 3206 W Minnehaha St., near the intersection of W Sligh Avenue. Before dawn, flames could be seen shooting over what remained of the roof as a ball of thick smoke filled the sky.
Firefighters attacked flames from outside the one-story, approximately 4,700-square-foot home, which was collapsing when they arrived. It took more than an hour for crews to contain the blaze.
A 78-year-old woman lived in the house, but was not home when the fire started, authorities said. No one was injured.
Authorities shut off electrical service to neighboring houses. After the sun rose, smoke still clouded streets within half a mile and cast a gray haze over Egypt Lake Elementary School a few block to the west.
The school remained open, and the principal sent a phone message to concerned parents.
But emergency vehicle traffic and road closures forced a nearby day care center to close for the day, authorities said.
Fire rescue crews continued to monitor smoldering hot spots about 8 a.m. Fire Rescue said the home was a complete loss.
The cause of the blaze remained under investigation.