LARGO, Fla. (WFLA) – Fire officials have not ruled out fireworks as the cause of a fire that destroyed businesses in a Largo strip plaza over the weekend. The fire at the plaza on Seminole Boulevard started high up in the building, an unusual location, said Largo Deputy Fire Chief David Mixson. In addition to fireworks, officials are still considering the possibility of lightning, They are waiting for a lightning report to analyze any activity in the area. A final report on the fire will come from the fire marshal but still might not pinpoint a cause, he said.
Crews on scene did not find any evidence of fireworks, Mixson said, but the fire may have burned up any evidence. Witnesses also reported seeing and hearing fireworks in the area, he said. The fire ripped through House of Shades and Lamps, a family business the Carters have been running for 18 years. “It’s devastating. Everything is burned to the ground,” said Mike Carter. “There’s nothing left.”
Sharon Carter said she found out about the fire in a phone call from her brother, who told her “it’s gone, it’s gone.” Carter said she tried to pull up her security video feed but could not see anything, so drove to the store to see it for herself. The business did not have insurance, Mike Carter said, but the family is trying to continue on with their work. On Monday, they had calls forwarded to their cell phone and were working to take orders and work with customers. “Supposed to be the American Dream,” Carter said. “Sometimes you have to rebuild.”
The Carter family has started a gofundme page. For more information or to donate, click on http://www.gofundme.com/ymf7qa8.
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