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Tampa apartment catches fire

TAMPA — An apartment complex at Sligh Avenue and 56th Street caught fire late Thursday morning. No one was injured.

The blaze broke out around 11:15 a.m., according to Hillsborough County Fire Rescue. It was under control a little more than an hour later.

Four units in the Royal Parc Apartments, 6919 Bonair Drive, were destroyed and four others had smoke damage, said Fire Rescue spokesman Ray Yeakley.

The fire spread particularly fast because older buildings like this one, which was built in the 1970s, often don't have attic space barriers to prevent flames from leaping between units.

When it was built, construction rules were different, Yeakley said.

The building is not in violation of current fire inspection codes and had adequate smoke alarms. In fact, Yeakley said, it had been inspected just two weeks ago and found to be in compliance.

The unit where the fire started was occupied. It's one of five occupied units out of the 16 in the complex, which is in foreclosure, Yeakley said.

He said all five families were relocated to other units, either because of damage or because there's still no electricity.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

A nearly identical fire broke out at the complex in 2008, displacing 14 families.

Tampa apartment catches fire 04/21/11 [Last modified: Thursday, April 21, 2011 4:36pm]

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