Fire destroys Seminole Heights restaurant - WFLA News Channel 8

Fire destroys Seminole Heights restaurant

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Image courtesy TFR Image courtesy TFR
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) - An early morning fire on Tuesday that destroyed a Seminole Heights restaurant and damaged a neighboring store was caused by a malfunction in the restaurant's walk-in freezer.

Tampa Fire investigators say foul play is not suspected.

The building had an estimated value of $500,000 and was determined to be a total loss, along with the contents inside the building which were valued at $300,000.

The first emergency call came in at 1:55 a.m. to 6421 N. Florida Ave. When Tampa Fire Rescue crews arrived, heavy smoke was coming from the building's roof and flames were coming from the back of Domani Bistro Lounge. The fire eventually spread to A Modern Line, which sells furniture and lighting.

"Our crews did make entry but there was rapid fire load," explained Tampa Fire Rescue Spokesman Henry William.

"Our crews elected to back out and that's just for their safety because on top of these roofs, a lot of times in a commercial structure, there's an AC structure and in the event of a fire they sometimes collapse."

60 firefighters used hoses and ladder trucks to attack the flames from outside the building. It took two hours for them to gain control. They spent several more hours battling hot spots. No one was injured.

Brian Bosco is a co-owner of the bistro and says he got the call shortly after the fire broke out. 

"I got a call at 2:30 in the morning from the landlord, saying that there was a fire at the restaurant,"  said Bosco. 

"In my head I thought, 'Maybe a brush fire or something.' You know, something small. I live about a mile down the road and when I showed up there were 50-foot flames coming out of the roof. "

Carlos Londono owns the San Carlos Tavern across the street.  He says losing the bistro is a loss for the entire community.  "You know, there are a lot of plans in Seminole Heights. They're opening new businesses. They opened a new restaurant over here, they're planning on doing a lot of new places over here," said Londono.

"I hope, I hope they rebuild Domani's as soon as they can. For Seminole Heights. "

Bosco and his business partner, Bernardo Agostino, say they will rebuild.

Seminole Heights has become a popular place to dine out in recent years. Domani Bistro opened in the fall of 2012.

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