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Safety Harbor warehouse fire damage estimate: $1.5 million; firefighter injured

SAFETY HARBOR — A warehouse fire that burned through the night Sunday and injured one firefighter caused an estimated $1.5 million in damage.

The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said the fire started at 11:21 p.m. at the Matrix Group Limited sporting goods warehouse and office building, 601 Packard Court. It was finally brought under control early Monday, said Joe Accetta, Safety Harbor fire chief.

One firefighter was taken to Mease Countryside Hospital with back injuries, Accetta said. The nearly 13,500-square-foot warehouse was destroyed.

A cause has not been determined, but investigators from the state fire marshal's arson unit were called to the scene, officials said.

That's not unusual for such a large fire, said Safety Harbor Fire Department spokesman Joe Hans. Multiple agencies continue to investigate the fire and haven't ruled anything out, he said.

They will continue working Tuesday to determine the blaze's source.

The company specializes in sporting equipment and team uniforms for a number of sports including baseball, softball, cheerleading and wrestling, according to its Web site.

Firefighters from Clearwater, Dunedin, East Lake, Oldsmar Palm Harbor and Safety Harbor all responded to the scene and immediately determined that the building was a total loss.

They worked to protect surrounding buildings on the block — none of which sustained damage, Hans said.

Brian Spegele can be reached at bspegele@sptimes.com or (727) 445-4154.

Safety Harbor warehouse fire damage estimate: $1.5 million; firefighter injured 07/06/09 [Last modified: Monday, July 6, 2009 11:12pm]

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