Fire Reported in Downtown Tampa

It was like a fire alarm in second-period biology: no fun, but better than work.

Authorities evacuated 100 North Tampa, downtown Tampa’s tallest building, Tuesday afternoon as firefighters put out a vehicle fire in the attached garage. No one was injured.

At the base of the building, men in suits snacked on gummy bears. Women wore stockings with sneakers.

“I never leave the office without them,” said Cheryl Fanaro, 60.

She and hundreds of others trekked down dozens of flights of stairs after authorities turned off the elevators in the 42-story building.

Fanaro’s co-workers joked they’d pay good money for those white New Balance shoes. They were at their desks on the 31st floor when a voice came over the intercom.

“There’s a fire in the garage, but not in the building per se,” Heather Borso remembers hearing.

At first, it didn’t look like evacuation would be necessary.

People started trickling out, anyway.

Within minutes, another announcement went out. Everyone needed to leave.

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn heard the sirens and walked to the scene. His staff Tweeted about his appearance, including photos of him next to firefighters.

Later, Tampa Fire Rescue shared details of what had happened:

About 2:30 p.m. a Ford Explorer caught fire on the third story of the parking garage.

Firefighters put it out within 15 minutes and interviewed the vehicle’s owner. The fire appeared to have been accidental and mechanical.

And then, oh, darn, it was back to work.

St. Petersburg Times