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Fire knocks out power in Tampa

An abandoned building in the 1600 block of Marion Street erupted in fire about 10 p.m. Saturday, affecting a nearby TECO substation and setting off power outages in downtown, West Tampa and Ybor City.

"The fire burned through three main power lines that feed the substation," said Tampa police Officer Paul Madsen.

The vacant building has been known to house street people at times, said Lt. Eric Hall of the Tampa Fire Department. It was too hot for firefighters to search Saturday and it was not known whether anyone was inside.

WFLA-Ch. 8 reported on its 11 p.m. newscast that the power outage knocked the station off the air briefly. The station is at 905 E Jackson St., several blocks from the fire. The station also said Saturday's performance of The Phantom of the Opera at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center stopped abruptly as lights flashed. The show resumed 15 minutes later.

The cause of the blaze was unknown Saturday night.

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