People try to recover items following Tampa storage facility fire

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – It has been a difficult day for people returning to see what they could recover following a massive fire earlier this week at the Public Storage facility in Town ‘n’ Country.

Lissette Torres-Henriquez arrived early Thursday morning. “I was so optimistic the whole time, but now that I saw it, it just really hit me, it’s all gone,” she said.

Torres-Henriquez and her husband Rafael had a house full of items stored at the facility because they temporarily moved into an apartment. Now they have nothing.

“I thought I could salvage something but because of that fire you can’t salvage anything out of that,” Rafael Henriquez said.

The two are not alone in their pain.

Francesca Funaro was heartbroken when she showed up to find all her belongings, including pictures of her daughters, had sustained extensive water damage. “Kitchen stuff you can replace, 30 years worth of memories you can’t replace,” Funaro said.

Natalie Smith was also shocked to see the damage left by the fire. “Everything is gone,” Smith said.

Her son, a military veteran, lost his life six years ago serving his country. Many of his medals were at Public Storage.

“Some kind of way I will have to tell my granddaughter the stories and some kind of way I will have to put those memories in her heart because she was only 2 when her father died,” Smith said.

Some of the people who lost items did have insurance through Public Storage. Others did not and may have to turn to their private carrier to cover their losses.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.


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