TAMPA — Two fires Wednesday afternoon in Tampa caused an estimated $60,000 in damage.
At 3:04 p.m., smoke was seen billowing from a vacant house at 2213 E. Columbus Drive, Tampa Fire-Rescue said.
Investigators later determined the fire was intentionally set and had estimated damage to the one-story home at $50,000. Owner Jalilah Nichols said squatters frequently took up residence in the property.
At 5:40 p.m., firefighters got a call about smoke at 4702 E Citrus Circle Apt. B.
Irene Hall, 34, fell asleep with cooking oil on the stove, Fire-Rescue said. The burning oil ignited kitchen cabinets. Neighbors saw the smoke and awoke Hall, getting her safely out of the apartment.
The fire caused $10,000 in damage and Hall told officials she would be staying with friends.