Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Fire from ice machine destroys Palm Harbor Dunkin' Donuts/Baskin-Robbins

PALM HARBOR — The smell of burning plastic interrupted employees at a Dunkin' Donuts/Baskin-Robbins as they prepared early Wednesday for the morning rush.

Three employees found white smoke coming from an ice machine at the rear of the store. Someone unplugged it, and they went back to work. Fifteen minutes later, an employee smelled smoke, according to Palm Harbor Fire Rescue.

The back of the store went dark. The ice machine burned and flames flickered up to the ceiling, employees told fire officials. Ceiling tiles started to fall as one employee reached for a fire extinguisher. They evacuated.

No one was injured in the 3:30 a.m. fire, but the restaurant at 33240 U.S. 19 N was a total loss. Flames spread through the attic and roof before firefighters arrived.

Extreme heat forced them to fight the fire from outside the building.

It took Palm Harbor Fire Rescue nearly an hour to put out the blaze with the help of additional firefighters from Safety Harbor and East Lake, officials said.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation, but it appeared to be electrical, said Liz Monforti, a Palm Harbor Fire Rescue spokeswoman.

The fire also destroyed plans for an upcoming fundraiser for firefighters.

On April 27, Palm Harbor firefighters planned to participate for the first time in 31 Cent Scoop Night with Baskin-Robbins. Participating stores host local firefighters and reduce prices of ice cream scoops to 31 cents.

Some of the money raised goes to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, Monforti said.

The money would help families of fallen heroes and provide extra training for firefighters. Money also would have been raised to help send Palm Harbor Fire Rescue's honor guard to the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11.

This was the only Baskin-Robbins in Palm Harbor's district.

"We'll work with the manager to see what we'll do," Monforti said.

Fire from ice machine destroys Palm Harbor Dunkin' Donuts/Baskin-Robbins 03/30/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 30, 2011 7:54pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays late-night bullpen shuffle: Alvarado, Pruitt down; Kolarek up


    The Rays shuffled their bullpen again after Tuesday's game, sending down struggling LHP Jose Alvarado along with RHP Austin Pruitt to Triple-A Durham, and turning next to LHP Adam Kolarek, who will make his major-league debut at age 28,

  2. Tampa Bay Times honored for top investigative story in Gerald Loeb annual business awards


    The Tampa Bay Times was a co-winner in the investigative category for one of the highest honors in business journalism.

    Tampa Bay Times current and former staff writers William R. Levesque, Nathaniel Lash and Anthony Cormier were honored in the investigative category for their coverage of "Allegiant Air" in the 60th Anniversary Gerald Loeb Awards for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism. 


  3. Pasco woman gives birth to child fathered by 11 year old, deputies say


    A Port Richey woman was arrested Tuesday, nearly three years after deputies say she gave birth to a child fathered by an 11-year-old boy.

    Marissa Mowry, 25, was arrested Tuesday on charges she sexually assaulted an 11-year-old and gave birth to his child. [Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]
  4. For good of the Rays, Tim Beckham should embrace move to second

    The Heater

    PITTSBURGH — The acquisition of slick-fielding shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria said a lot of things, most notably that the Rays are serious about making in-season moves to bolster their chances to make the playoffs, with a reliever, or two, next on the shopping list.

    PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 27:  Tim Beckham #1 of the Tampa Bay Rays celebrates with teammates after scoring during the eighth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on June 27, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) 700011399
  5. St. Petersburg showdown: Kriseman faces Baker for first time tonight at the Rev. Louis Murphy Sr.'s church

    Local Government

    A standing-room-only crowd packed a Midtown church banquet hall Tuesday to witness the first face-off between Mayor Rick Kriseman and former mayor Rick Baker in what is a watershed mayoral contest in the city's history.

    Former Mayor Rick Baker, left, is challenging incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman, right, to become St. Petersburg mayor.