TAMPA — Two house fires Sunday night caused thousands of dollars in damage but injured no one.
Tampa Fire Rescue investigators determined a 6-year-old child playing with matches sparked the first fire at a Sulphur Springs duplex, 7903 N Brooks St.
Firefighters responded just before 8 p.m. after receiving reports of smoke and flames coming from the duplex. Beverly Brooks, 29, and her son got out of the apartment safely after she noticed smoke coming from the back bedroom. Fire Rescue had the fire under control in 15 minutes.
The apartment had moderate fire, smoke and water damage. The other apartment in the building was occupied and sustained slight smoke damage. Losses totaled about $40,000.
Firefighters responded to another fire in Port Tampa about 8:20 p.m.
The blaze happened at a house at 7306 S Germer St. Firefighters responded after receiving reports of smoke coming from a single-story home.
Rosalyn Allen, 54, and Isaiah Jones Jr., 60, were home when it happened. Jones told an investigator he thought the home was struck by lightning. They left the home after noticing smoke coming from air-conditioning ducts.
The investigator determined the fire started in the air handler, near the middle of the house, though he could not say whether lightning ignited the fire.
The home sustained about $100,000 in damage.
It took about 15 minutes for Fire Rescue crews to put out the fire.
The American Red Cross was helping Allen and Jones find shelter.
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