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Fire destroys vacant house in Gibsonton

GIBSONTON — A fire overnight destroyed a vacant home previously damaged by vandals, according to Hillsborough County fire investigators,

Firefighters were dispatched at 11:35 p.m. Saturday to 6911 Ohio Ave., near Massachusetts Street. No one was hurt, but the home was a total loss, with damage estimated at $75,000.

After the fire was extinguished, safety concerns led firefighters to knock down some of the home's outside walls.

Fire officials said they are investigating the cause of the blaze. Authorities said the Sheriff's Office had received past reports of vandalism at the home, one of them recent.

The home is owned by three brothers who live in New York. They inherited it from their late father, who had inherited from his father, said one of the brothers, John Harpst, of Newfane, N.Y., which is northeast of Niagara Falls.

The family had stayed at the home during visits to Tampa Bay. Harpst said he was not sure what the family would do with the property now.

Fire destroys vacant house in Gibsonton 06/21/09 [Last modified: Sunday, June 21, 2009 5:40pm]
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Photo Credit: Baja Ferries USA LLC