Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Public safety

Firefighters battle large blaze at St. Petersburg smoke shop

ST. PETERSBURG — An early morning fire destroyed a smoke shop Monday, and fire officials are still investigating its cause.

The two-alarm fire started about 3 a.m. at 5656 66th St. N, said David Brown, Lealman Fire District's deputy fire chief. The smoke shop had moved into the building about a week before.

The fire tore through the metal building, burning away most of the roof and parts of the walls. Firefighters tossed charred panels out of hollow windows and scooped soggy piles of charcoal into the parking lot Monday morning.

No injuries were reported. An investigation is being conducted.

The building had housed All American Freedom Auto Sales before it became a tobacco store. The building's owner, who refused to give his name to a Tampa Bay Times reporter, said he has insurance.

Brown said damages haven't been determined, but he estimated the building could be worth about $250,000.

"Other than some concrete blocks, it's probably going to be a total loss," he said.

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