Tampa Fire Rescue responded to a reported fire at the Amphitheater Club located at 1609 E 7th Avenue in Ybor City at 7:47 p.m. on Wednesday. The first units on scene saw heavy smoke coming from the roof of the two-story brick building.
Three workers inside the building at the time safely escaped. The neighboring units in the row were evacuated.
Due to the age and the size of the building the incident commander called for a third alarm to bring additional equipment and firefighting crews. Firefighters found smoke and flames coming from the roof of the building and began fighting the flames. Other crews entered the first and second floors to search for any additional occupants while fighting flames on the interior of the building.
At this time it is believed that a welder was doing work to the ceiling when an arc ignited material covering the ceiling which then spread throughout the structure. The automatic sprinkler system did operate but was not enough to completely extinguish the fire.
Firefighters continued suppression operations until the fire was called “under control” shortly before 1:30 a.m. Thursday Morning. Two firefighters were injured and were taken to a local hospital for observation. Both are expected to return to full duty.
Nearly 20 units consisting of nearly 50 personnel responded to the incident.
Investigators from the Fire Marshal’s office are on scene to determine the cause of the fire.
Tampa Fire Rescue returned again at 8:15 a.m. Thursday morning when code enforcement saw some smoldering areas during a walk through. There were no visible flames but Fire Rescue units continued minor overhaul operations until the smoldering was stopped. Two units remain on scene as a precaution.
Code enforcement will determine when it is safe for 7th Ave to reopen.