TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Walking alongside friends, Tony Moussaud looked inside his store, Southern Used Furniture on North Nebraska Avenue in Tampa and realized everything he’s worked for is gone.
Too upset to talk on camera, his friend Elizabeth Hicks spoke for him.
“It’s all gone,” she said. “everything is gone.”
The store burned to the ground during a late-night fire Sunday. It was so intense a second crew was called out to the scene.
“We had some crews go inside, but there was a flashover which brought them out. Then we had these aerial units brought out to get it doused and we got it put out as quickly as possible,” says Tampa Fire PIO Jason Penny.
Investigators determined the fire started in the back northeast corner of the building and caused $165,000 worth of damage.
The building, which has been in Tampa for a decade, is a total loss.
“Oh yeah, I’ve bought some stuff in there before,” says Daisy Jones. She’s lived near Southern Used Furniture for 19 years.
“This is sad,” she says. “The old buildings mean a lot to me.”
According to his friends and people who live in the neighborhood, Moussad is well-known for helping anyone in need.
“I’m hurt right now over it,” says Hicks. “This man would give you the shirt off his back.”
Charles Allen agrees saying, “He tries to help everybody out that he can help out and do good to people. This is really terrible that something like this happened to him.”
Now, they say it is the community’s time to return the favor.
“I just can’t believe this has happened to him. This is very upsetting,” says Allen.
If you would like to help raise money to put this local business back together please email WFLA News Channel 8 reporter Avery Cotton.
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