Friday, February 23, 2018
Public safety

Hernando County library closed after suspicious fire

RIDGE MANOR WEST — The East Hernando Branch Library will remain closed indefinitely to allow workers to clean up damage caused by a suspicious fire early Saturday.

County community coordinator Brenda Frazier said Monday that the building, at 6457 Windmere Road in Ridge Manor West, suffered mostly smoke and water damage to carpets and books and other items near the rear of the building. County staffers are still assessing the extent of the damage.

"We should have a more definitive idea by the end of the week as to when the branch will be reopened," Frazier said. Until then, library patrons can return books and other materials to other county branches.

Hernando County fire officials said they received a call from the security company that monitors the building at about 2 a.m. Saturday informing them that a smoke alarm had gone off. Firefighters arrived a few minutes later to find that several wicker chairs had been stacked against the door and were burning in a small screened-in reading room at the rear of the building.

Fire officials said that while fire damage to the building was minimal, most of the water damage was caused by an automatic sprinkler system that was activated when the blaze broke out.

Library Services manager Adam Brooks said that the county has a $25,000 deductible and that he anticipates the damage will exceed that amount.

Opened in 2006, the 8,500-square-foot East Hernando Branch Library cost $1.9 million and was part of a county effort to expand library service to residents in rapidly growing areas. Situated on about 7 acres, the building's remote location in Ridge Manor has made it a target for vandals and thieves. According to archived Hernando County Sheriff's Office reports, the building has been burglarized on at least two occasions.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation by the state fire marshal's office.

Logan Neill can be reached at [email protected] or (352) 848-1435.

Comments
Deputy ‘never went in’ during Parkland school shooting. There were other failures, too

Deputy ‘never went in’ during Parkland school shooting. There were other failures, too

Eight days after mass shooter Nikolas Cruz murdered 17 people inside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Broward’s top cop on Thursday revealed a stunning series of failures by the sheriff’s department.A school campus cop heard the gunfire, rushed ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Florida man yells ‘murderers!’ as he’s executed for slaying

Florida man yells ‘murderers!’ as he’s executed for slaying

Associated PressSTARKE — An inmate convicted of raping and killing a college student decades ago screamed and yelled "murderers!" three times, thrashing on a gurney as he was being put to death Thursday. The governor’s office said Eric Scott Branch, ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Polk deputies seek Pinellas man accused of pushing woman from speeding car

Polk deputies seek Pinellas man accused of pushing woman from speeding car

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office said an arrest warrant was issued for a Pinellas County man accused of beating and pushing a woman from a speeding car.The incident took place on Feb. 17, the Sheriff’s Office said. Remond Brown II, 26, was traveling ...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Dunedin man seriously injured in motorcycle crash

Dunedin man seriously injured in motorcycle crash

OLDSMAR — A 37-year-old Dunedin man was seriously injured in a high-speed motorcycle crash early Thursday morning, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.Deputies said Justin Kaune was riding southbound on Bayside Boulevard around 2:30 a.m...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Police seek machete-wielding suspect in Plant City robbery

Police seek machete-wielding suspect in Plant City robbery

PLANT CITY — Police are searching for a man armed with a machete accused of robbing a convenience store on Tuesday.The man arrived at the Circle K convenience store station at 1514 Alexander St. S at about 2:50 a.m. and demanded money from store empl...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Clearwater police chief forms special unit for repeat offenders

Clearwater police chief forms special unit for repeat offenders

CLEARWATER — Police Chief Dan Slaughter started this month a new unit to target repeat offenders and nuisance properties.The Special Enforcement Unit consists of six police officers and a sergeant from within the department to focus on the small grou...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Tip leads police to find body inside van in Walmart parking lot

Tip leads police to find body inside van in Walmart parking lot

TARPON SPRINGS — Police are conducting a death investigation after a body was found Thursday in a van at a Walmart parking lot.Officers were dispatched to the store at about 1:30 p.m. when an employee reported that an older-model, white Ford E-150 va...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Man rescued after boat swept away, capsizes in Little Manatee River

Man rescued after boat swept away, capsizes in Little Manatee River

RUSKIN — A man was rescued early Thursday morning after his boat was swept away by a strong tide and capsized in the Little Manatee River, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.The incident started at about 2 a.m., deputies said, when...
Updated: 9 hours ago

Tampa police release name of man killed in hit-and-run on Adamo Drive

TAMPA — Police have released the name of a man struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver on Adamo Drive early Wednesday.Christopher Magdic, 41, of Tampa was walking west in the eastbound lanes of Adamo Drive about 4:15 a.m. when was struck by an unkn...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Hillsborough County inmate dies after becoming unresponsive at Falkenburg Road jail

Hillsborough County inmate dies after becoming unresponsive at Falkenburg Road jail

TAMPA — A 54-year-old inmate died Saturday after she became unresponsive at the Falkenburg Road Jail, authorities said.Tammie Castro was alert in the jail infirmary when jail officials called for paramedics at 3:34 a.m. but became unresponsive within...
Published: 02/22/18