TFR: Man lights South Tampa apartment on fire, barricades himself inside

TAMPA, FL (WFLA) — A man armed with a hammer attempted to block firefighters from entering his South Tampa apartment that is he accused of lighting on fire Friday morning, according to Tampa Fire Rescue.

Image courtesy Tampa Fire Rescue
Image courtesy Tampa Fire Rescue

Fire crews responded to the apartment, located at 4323 W Bay to Bay Blvd., around 3:20 a.m. Friday. The first crew on scene saw smoke and flames coming from a second-story window of the two-story, multi-unit apartment building.

Crews put a ladder up, and found the man in the second-floor apartment window threatening them with a hammer, trying to prevent them from making entry through the window.

Fire crews and police were able to force entry into the apartment, where they say the man had barricaded himself inside the bedroom and put up furniture to block the door.

They put water on the fire in the bedroom and brought the fire under control by 4 a.m.

The man was “Baker Acted” and transported to Tampa General Hospital. Baker Act is a Florida law that provides emergency mental health services and temporary detention for people who are impaired because of their mental illness, and who are unable to determine their needs for treatment, according to the University of Florida Health Science Center.

The man will most likely be charged with felony arson for allegedly setting the fire in the apartment.

Residents in the neighboring unit safely escaped along with their four pets.

No injuries were reported at the scene. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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