Roaring fire destroys Tampa furniture warehouse, threatens nearby buildings

Published Sept. 27, 2012

TAMPA — An unknown number of people at a furniture warehouse were forced to evacuate Tuesday night after a raging fire ripped through the structure, destroying the building and its contents, officials said.

The fire, which broke out about 8:30 p.m., began inside TJ's Custom Furniture warehouse at 5709 E Hanna Ave., near 56th Street. The fire grew so large that flames were seen through the roof of the 8,000-square-foot building before firefighters arrived at the scene.

Fire crews concentrated on protecting surrounding buildings and containing the blaze, which appeared poised to engulf other structures nearby, according to Hillsborough County Fire Rescue.

It took 18 units and 60 firefighters nearly two hours to bring the fire under control.

TJ's Custom Furniture was destroyed. But firefighters managed to salvage another business in the building next door.

No injuries were reported, though the building was considered a total loss and has been declared structurally unsound.

The business owners are in the process of hiring a contractor to finish demolishing what little is left of the building, officials said.

It was not immediately clear what sparked the blaze, though fire officials said the incident is not considered suspicious.

Marissa Lang can be reached at or (813) 226-3386.