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.
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.