Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Firefighters investigate blaze at vacant Pinellas Park building

PINELLAS PARK — Authorities were investigating the cause of a massive blaze that damaged a vacant building Wednesday night in the 8000 block of U.S. 19.

More than 25 fire units from Pinellas Park, Largo, St. Petersburg, Lealman and Seminole responded to fight the blaze, which was first reported at 9:45 p.m. inside a building at 8851 U.S. 19, authorities said. When firefighters first arrived, heavy smoke seeped from the roof of the two-story office building.

It took about 90 minutes for the fire to be extinguished, officials said. Smoke was so thick on the second floor that firefighters had a difficult time finding the source of the fire.

The fire was finally brought under control at about 11:15 p.m. As firefighters surveyed the damage, they found evidence that people had been living in the 14,995-square-foot building, authorities said. But no one was inside at the time the fire started.

The building, which used to house a bank but has been vacant for some time, was valued at $800,000 and sustained heavy smoke and fire damage, officials said. Investigators determined that the fire started on the second floor, but the exact cause was not immediately known.

Firefighters investigate blaze at vacant Pinellas Park building 03/21/13 [Last modified: Thursday, March 21, 2013 7:04pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Hurricane Maria's winds hit 175 mph as it aims at Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands


    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Hurricane Maria barreled toward Puerto Rico on Tuesday night after wreaking widespread devastation on Dominica and leaving the small Caribbean island virtually incommunicado. …

    A boat lays on its side off the shore of Sainte-Anne on the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe, early Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017, after the passing of Hurricane Maria. [Dominique Chomereau-Lamotte | Associated Press]
  2. Hillsborough School Board approves 2017-18 budget


    TAMPA — The Hillsborough County School Board on Tuesday approved a budget of $2.83 billion for the 2017-18 school year.

    Photo illustration. []
  3. All Eyes photo gallery: 7.1 magnitude quake kills at least 79, collapses buildings in Mexico


    A magnitude 7.1 earthquake stunned central Mexico on Tuesday, killing at least 79 people as buildings collapsed in plumes of dust. Thousands fled into the streets in panic, and many stayed to help rescue those trapped. The quake came less than two weeks after another quake left 90 dead in the country's south, and it …

    Rescuers work on a collapsed building on Amsterdam Avenue in the Condesa neighborhood of Mexico City after a 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck, Sept. 19, 2017. Dozens have been reported killed across the country, including 42 in the state of Morelos, close to the epicenter of the quake, and at least 20 buildings in Mexico City have collapsed. (Adriana Zehbrauskas/The New York Times) XNYT169
  4. Rays video tribute to ex-manager Joe Maddon upon return with Cubs


    Here is the Rays video tribute to former manager Joe Maddon, who returned to the Trop for the first time on Tuesday with his Cubs team:

  5. After Irma disruption, Miami eager to face Toledo


    LAKE BUENA VISTA — Like thousands of other evacuees, Miami defensive coordinator Manny Diaz headed north to escape Hurricane Irma with his family, two suitcases and the anxiety of not knowing what would happen to everything he left behind.

    Miami coach Mark Richt watches during a victory over B-CU in the Sept. 2 opener. The Hurricanes haven’t played since.