Advertisement
  1. News
  2. /
  3. St. Petersburg

St. Pete strip mall fire under investigation

The fire destroyed one business and damaged others inside a strip mall at the corner of 49th Street South and 1st Avenue South
Check tampabay.com for the latest breaking news and updates. [Tampa Bay Times]
Check tampabay.com for the latest breaking news and updates. [Tampa Bay Times]
Published Nov. 16, 2019

ST. PETERSBURG — Investigators have yet to determine what ignited the late-night fire that engulfed a St. Petersburg strip mall on Friday.

St. Petersburg Fire Rescue responded to a 911 caller Friday evening who described hearing an explosion inside the row of businesses, located on the corner of 49th Street South and First Avenue South at 119 49th St. S.

Firefighters responded to the scene shortly after 9 p.m. Despite them arriving within minutes of the call, heavy smoke and flames were already shooting from the row of storefronts, the department said.

The Florida State Fire Marshal’s office has only just begun its investigation into what caused the two-alarm fire. St. Petersburg Police said the structure is still considered to be a crime scene.

Crews raced to extinguish the blaze within about 20 minutes of arriving, Fire Rescue said. All of the businesses had closed for the evening, and no one was on the property to see how the fire ignited.

Investigators said the fire was mainly contained to the second-to-last store located on the right-hand side of the building. That portion of the building was so badly burned investigators on scene Friday night couldn’t tell what kind of business was operating there. A furniture store to the right of that unit and several others to the left sustained minor smoke damage during the blaze, firefighters said.

Anyone with information is asked to call the state Bureau of Fire, Arson and Explosives Investigations at 1-877-NO-ARSON.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. St. Petersburg police Chief Tony Holloway, left, and Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, seen in a 2015 photo. [DIRK SHADD  |  Times]
    The Violent Crimes Task Force focuses on teen car thefts in Pinellas County. St. Petersburg’s police chief says his decision is unrelated to a fatal shooting involving the task force.
  2. Booking photo of Donald Steven Dugray, charged trying to carjack a vehicle that was occupied by an undercover police officer. [Pinellas County Sheriff's Office]
    Police say he ran into a police car, tossed a gun onto the roof of a diner and finally tried to carjack a vehicle an undercover officer was driving.
  3. Booking photo of John Robert Reichold, 48, who was arrested Sunday on a charge of scheme to defraud. He is accused of stealing more than $115,000 in jewelry from his employer, Hess Fine Art. [Pinellas County Sheriff's Office]
    Police say he pawned the jewelry over a four-year period while working at the business.
  4. Renderings by Arquitectonica of the proposed Red Apple Group condo project in St. Petersburg. Courtesy of Arquitectonica [Courtesy of Arquitectonica]
    $300 million. 45 stories. A little closer to existence.
  5. Residents and commuters are complaining about heavy traffic ever since the Florida Department of Transportation closed both northbound lanes on Nebraska Avenue just south of Hillsborough Avenue (U.S. 92) in Tampa on Jan. 6, to install new drainage pipes under Nebraska Avenue between Giddens Avenue and Hillsborough Avenue. [Florida Department of Transportation]
    Dr. Delay explores the latest backups aggravating Seminole Heights residents and commuters.
  6. Erica Allums poses for a portrait behind the counter at Banyan Cafe in St. Petersburg while she was still the owner. Now, she's in the process of taking over the MLK spot once again. [Times (2018)] [Tampa Bay Times]
    The Central Avenue location will continue to operate as normal.
  7. A for sale sign is seen in front of a home in the Westchase area of Tampa. CHRIS URSO  |  Times (2013)
    And a spike in cash sales suggests investors were active in the market.
  8. A look at the construction on the Tierra Verde bridge project which is the bridge between Isla Del Sol and Tierra Verde islands on Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020 in St. Petersburg. The project began in December 2018 and is scheduled to be completed in summer of 2021. [DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    Dr. Delay takes a deep dive into the construction process for the $56.3 million State Road 679 and Bayway Bridge project .
  9. Demolition of the former Pine Oak Mobile Home Park, 340 40th Avenue North, St. Petersburg. [SCOTT KEELER  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    One of the owners said the park had been losing money for a long time and residents knew a demolition was coming.
  10. A proposed bill in the Legislature would set a statewide referendum on whether to amend Florida's constitution to add a year to the period when home buyers can transfer their accumulated benefits under the Save Our Homes cap on property assessments to a new home. Pinellas County Property Appraiser Mike Twitty says going from two years to three would reduce the possibility that construction delays in a booming real estate market would prevent some buyers from meeting the deadline, costing them potentially thousands 
 of dollars in property tax savings. [SUSAN TAYLOR MARTIN | Times (2019)]
    The bill, the idea of Pinellas County Property Appraiser Mike Twitty, would give buyers another year to transfer their tax savings under Florida’s Save Our Homes assessment cap to a home they’ve...
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement