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Saturday, Aug 23, 2014
Northeast News

Overloaded power strip sparked apartment fire near USF

Published:   |   Updated: June 17, 2014 at 11:28 AM

An overloaded power strip sparked a fire Monday afternoon at an apartment building near the University of South Florida, a fire investigator said.

Tampa Fire Rescue said it was called at 3:34 p.m. to a two-story building at Park Avenue apartments, 11319 N. 50th St. The complex is just south of Fowler Avenue.

When firefighters arrived, they found flames coming out of the first-floor apartment. The fire was under control within 20 minutes, Tampa Fire Rescue said.

According to Tampa police, two occupants in the unit where the fire started had safely exited before firefighters arrived. Firefighters searched the second-floor unit and found nobody inside. No injuries were reported.

On Tuesday, a fire investigator’s report said the blaze began with an electrical failure inside a power strip that had several electronic devices plugged into it.

“It ignited common combustibles along the east wall of a bedroom causing heavy fire damage to the room ... and major heat and smoke to the rest of the apartment,” the investigator’s report said, according to a Tampa Fire Rescue.

The fire extended to the second floor through a window and caused moderate damage to a bed and mattress in that unit’s bedroom as well as minor smoke damage, the report said.

Damage to the structure and its contents was valued at $55,000, the report said.