Tampa condos go up in flames

TAMPA, FL (WFLA) –- A huge fire engulfed a Tampa condominium complex early Thursday morning, authorities said, sending flames shooting 20-feet into the air.

It began around 2 a.m. at the Westchester Manor Condominium complex at 9029 N. Central Ave in North Tampa, near I-275. When crews arrived they found heavy smoke and flames coming from the roof of the two-story, eight unit apartment building.

Tampa Fire Rescue spokesman Jason Penny said seven families were displaced. Fortunately, all of the residents had evacuated the building safely before firefighters arrived on scene, he said. No one was injured.

Eight units are destroyed, Penny said.

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“I come to this,” said resident Victor Blue, who was at work in Riverview at the time. “I feel very, very devastated right now. I’m pretty sure everybody else is devastated,” he said.

Blue said his two stepsons were home at the time of the blaze. They escaped safely.

Fire crews will attempt to find a cause. They believe it started in a second-floor unit, possibly from a washing machine.

At least 40 firefighters and other personnel were called to the scene to fight the fire, Penny said.

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