TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Fire investigators say a 3-alarm fire that caused heavy damage at a Tampa shopping center was started by an electrical malfunction between the dropped ceiling and the roof level in the area above the kitchen.
The blaze broke out at the Big and Deals Supercenter at 4015 E. Hillsborough Ave. around 9:15 p.m. on Monday.
The fire caused extensive smoke and fire damage throughout the building, including a partial roof collapse. No one was injured.
When Tampa Fire Rescue crews first arrived they found heavy smoke coming from the northwest corner of the single-story approximately large commercial building. Crews remained on scene fighting the blaze until the early morning hours of Tuesday.
Firefighters began battling the blaze and the incident commander called for a second alarm at 9:20 p.m. due to the size of the fire and the building. Fire officials said that the incident commander decided to fight the fire using a defensive attack due to the instability of the roof. He wanted to ensure the safety of the crews. Two aerial units also responded to the scene pouring water on the fire.
One of the store employees said, all four of the staffers working in the building were accounted for and got out safely. At 10:30 p.m. the incident commander requested additional units which upgraded the fire to a third alarm.
Damage estimates are not yet available.
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