Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Fire causes $90K damage to downtown Tampa hotel

TAMPA — A fire that started before noon Monday in an empty room at the downtown Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel was soon extinguished, causing $90,000 in damages.

The three-alarm blaze brought 78 responders in 21 vehicles to the hotel at 111 W Fortune St., near the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts.

"Because it was a high-rise, it was labor-intensive," Tampa Fire Rescue spokesman Capt. Lonnie Benniefield said.

When firefighters arrived, evacuation of the building was under way and the hotel's sprinkler system had begun to suppress the fire.

There were no injuries.

Firefighters climbed the stairs to the 12th floor, where they found fire in two rooms. The floor was under renovation and unoccupied, Benniefield said.

The hotel has 332 rooms; 53 of which were rented at the time.

For the past four years, students from the University of Tampa have bunked at the hotel, about a mile from the growing campus.

The spring semester finished last month.

Investigator Mike Zurla, with the Tampa Fire Marshal's Office, traced the cause of the fire to an electrical malfunction in an air conditioner, Benniefield said.

Fire causes $90K damage to downtown Tampa hotel 06/10/13 [Last modified: Monday, June 10, 2013 11:27pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Bucs have chance to beat Vikings in their third stadium


    Here's a cool sign that the Bucs are getting up there as an NFL franchise: If Tampa Bay can win Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium, it will mark the first time the Bucs have posted road wins against the same NFL opponent in three different stadiums.

    TIMES ARCHIVES (2012) | Bucs RB Doug Martin runs during Tampa Bay's 36-17 win at the Vikings in 2012, in what was then called Mall of America Field. If Tampa Bay wins Sunday, it will mark the first time they have road wins against the same NFL opponent in three different stadiums.
  2. Memorial for Snooty the manatee, postponed because of Irma, to be held Sunday


    A public memorial to celebrate the life of 69-year-old Snooty the manatee will be held at the South Florida Museum on Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.

    Snooty , the world's most celebrated manatee, begs for another slice of apple in his pool in the Parker Manatee Aquarium at the South Florida Museum in Bradenton in 2008. Snooty was 60 then. [Times 2008]
  3. Residents wade through a flooded road after the passing of Hurricane Maria, in Toa Baja, Puerto Rico, Friday, September 22, 2017. Because of the heavy rains brought by Maria, thousands of people were evacuated from Toa Baja after the municipal government opened the gates of the Rio La Plata Dam. [Associated Press]
  4. NFL commissioner, players' union angrily denounce Trump comments on national anthem


    SOMERSET, N.J. — The National Football League and its players' union on Saturday angrily denounced President Donald Trump for suggesting that owners fire players who kneel during the national …

    President Donald Trump walks off the stage after he speaks at campaign rally in support of Sen. Luther Strange, Friday, Sept. 22, 2017, in Huntsville, Ala. [Associated Press]
  5. New earthquake, magnitude 6.1, shakes jittery Mexico


    MEXICO CITY — A strong new earthquake shook Mexico on Saturday, causing new alarm in a country reeling from two still-more-powerful quakes this month that have killed nearly 400 people.

    Locals play pool at a venue in Mexico City's La Condesa neighborhood, Friday, Sept. 22, 2017, four days after the 7.1 earthquake. The upscale Mexico City neighborhood was one of the hardest hit, with more than a half-dozen collapsed buildings in the immediate vicinity. The few Condesa residents who ventured out Friday night said they were anxious for relief from an anguishing week. [Associated Press]