Flames shoot out of the roof of the Ybor City post office as seen from the east side of the building. There were no sprinklers in the building, built 12 years ago. Federal buildings aren't required to have sprinklers.
"Within 15 minutes the whole damn apartment building was on fire," said Rolando Contreras, supervisor of the forklift that investigators say sparked the blaze. The 454 three-story luxury apartments called the Park at Ybor City had become a massive bonfire. The connected units were made of compressed wood. Piles of double sheet rock, used to stop fires from spreading between units, lay nearby awaiting installation.
Tampa firefighters discuss a battle plan to fight the 6 alarm fire in Ybor City. About 150 firefighters _ drawn from stations across the city _ responded to the scene. Firefighters from Hillsborough County, Seminole, Largo, Mango/Seffner volunteer units and St. Petersburg pitched in, too.
A firefighter trudges through smoke. "If the only thing that was burning was the post office, maybe we wouldn't have lost the post office," said Fire Rescue Capt. Bill Wade.