It seemed like a routine call: Fire units were dispatched to put out a grease fire at the sprawling Candlelight Apartments complex Tuesday night.
But when Brooksville firefighters walked into Apt. 96, they worried that the place might be wired to blow.
Some wires were draped across the ceiling and into the crawl space. Others were threaded into a plastic 2-liter bottle filled with an unidentified liquid. The firefighters found several D-cell batteries taped together. On the wall was a newspaper picture of a man who commandeered an M-60 tank last month in San Diego.
"In today's age, with the Oklahoma City bombing, we have to be cautious," said Brooksville police Chief Ed Tincher. "It's enough to raise anybody's suspicion."
So police evacuated several nearby apartments just after 10 p.m. and called the Tampa Police Department's bomb squad. Teams of police, fire and rescue officials swarmed the apartments' dimly lit parking lot.
Nearly three hours later, authorities concluded there was nothing to fear.
"It appears he had some antennas wired to get better TV or radio reception," said Brooksville police Capt. Terry Chapman. "No explosives."
As a result, the apartment's resident, 35-year-old Paul L. Galluzzi, was not charged in connection with the wires. However, authorities did charge him with possession of marijuana and paraphernalia, which police found in the process of the investigation. Galluzzi was issued a misdemeanor summons and released. He could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
The bizarre incident began when smoke started filling Galluzzi's studio apartment. Neighbor Saul Wright heard a smoke detector and spotted thick black smoke filling the apartment.
Wright got the apartment manager to open the door and found Galluzzi unconscious on his bed. He grabbed him under the arms and dragged him onto the front lawn.
"I just couldn't let nobody die," said Wright, who said he noticed the wires. "He finally came to when the fresh air hit him."
Firefighters arrived and put out the blaze on the stove. Emergency medical technicians arrived and offered assistance to Galluzzi, but he declined treatment and was taken to the Police Department for questioning.
Neighbors in the apartment complex described Galluzzi as a recluse who has lived there for two months.
"He always talked to himself," Wright said. "He made very weird noises at night. It sounds like something hit the floor _ like a thud."
Authorities are continuing to investigate.