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Tampa warehouse fire covers 20,000 square feet.

TAMPA — Hillsborough Fire Rescue officials are trying to figure out how a warehouse on Hillsborough Avenue caught fire Thursday.

The fire began at 3:30 p.m. at what was once the Bag-Mor Fertilizer building, 5226 E Hillsborough Ave., spokesman Ray Yeakley said. The 150,000 square foot structure has changed hands, and is occupied by several businesses, he said. Workers were inside when the fire started, but no one was injured.

The blaze engulfed at least 20,000 square feet of the structure in an area in the rear occupied by PalletBiz, a wooden pallet company, and Bed-Masters of Tampa Bay Inc., a mattress company, Yeakley said.

Yeakley said the "deep-seated fire'' fed on the pallet and mattress material and made the fire more difficult to fight.

"We have to pull everything out and extinguish it one piece at a time," he said.

Sheriff's deputies shut down Hillsborough Avenue at 56th Street as rush hour began.

The fire was brought under control by 6 p.m., but firefighters remained on the scene for several hours removing burning pallets, mattresses and building insulation stored in the building.

Rodney Thrash can be reached at rthrash@sptimes.com or (813) 269-5303.

Tampa warehouse fire covers 20,000 square feet. 05/01/08 [Last modified: Thursday, May 1, 2008 11:42pm]
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