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Fire damages vacant business on Kennedy Blvd. in Tampa


Published:   |   Updated: August 6, 2013 at 08:02 AM

TAMPA – A fire at a vacant small business on Kennedy Boulevard closed the road for a period late Monday night tonight from Willow Avenue to North Boulevard.

The fire started in a business that used to house Custom Rubber Stamp, 1116 W. Kennedy Blvd. The business has been vacant for about six months.

Tampa Fire Rescue firefighters responded at 9:23 p.m. to the fire.

Firefighters saw smoke from the building that has two units, said Capt. Lonnie Benniefield, a fire rescue spokesman. Firefighters walked around the building and felt the heat on the glass window of the building, he said.

They broke down the front door and saw smoke and flames in the ceiling, he said. The fire was extinguished in 24 minutes. There were no injuries and no one was found inside the building. Fire investigators are on scene to determine the cause of the fire, he said.

The unit next door belongs to In Bloom Catering. The fire and smoke caused some damage to the business. For safety firefighters removed four, full propane gas tanks found in the catering business.

Owner Jason Ruhe, whose been at the location two years, expects to close for a week or two.

He got a call from fire rescue about the fire. He first feared it was caused by something at his business. He's pleased that's not the case.

Ruhe said he's not worried that he'll have to close. He said soot was on some of his equipment.

“It's life. Things happen,” he said.

jpatino@tampatrib.com

(813) 259-7659

Twitter: @jpatinoTBO

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