Fire at observation tower closes Wall Springs Park for today - WFLA News Channel 8

Fire at observation tower closes Wall Springs Park for today

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The observation tower in Wall Springs Park in Palm Harbor caught on fire this morning and investigators closed the park for the day.

Palm Harbor Fire Rescue crews responded to the reports of brush fire at 3725 Desoto Boulevard early in the morning. When the arrived, they found the tower engulfed.

PHFR public information officer Elizabeth Monforti said the 3000 square foot 4 story tower was a total loss.  The tower is located in a remote area of the 210 acre park, so firefighters had to deal with a limited water supply.

Firefighters were able to contain the damage to the tower and the immediate walkway.

Detectives with the Arson and Auto Theft Unit of the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office together with the police officers had to wait until the site cooled down to begin investigating what started the fire. At this time, they don't believe lightening struck the tower.

"Law enforcement was on scene with us this morning just looking in the area and making sure there was no one in the area and also talking to people that do come to the park in the morning to see if they noticed anything suspicious at all," said Monforti

The tower was very popular with park visitors because it provided a spectacular view of the coast.

"That tower was very nice. We used to go to that tower all the time and observe the birds. I'd go out to the 3rd story and you could see the whole Gulf from there," said Sami Alami, a frequent park visitor. 

Officials have not said what started the fire, but said it appeared suspicious in nature.


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