Elderly woman escapes Tampa arson unharmed

Hillsborough County

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Investigators with the Tampa Fire Marshal’s office believe an early morning house fire in South Tampa was intentionally set.

An elderly woman was inside the home when the fire started Tuesday morning, but escaped with only minor injuries.

There is very little damage on the exterior of the home on South Church Avenue. But when fire crews arrived shortly after 4 a.m. Tuesday morning, Jason Penny with Tampa Fire Rescue says the interior of the home was engulfed in flames.

“They found heavy smoke coming out of the front door. As is normally the case, they go in and investigate and make sure no one is inside and then start fighting the fire,” Penny said. “Fortunately, nobody was inside.”

Once the fire was out, the investigation began. Penny says it didn’t take long for investigators to determine this fire was no accident.

“I won’t get into the specifics of this case because it’s still under investigation, but our arson investigators are trained to see things that are kind of out of place that look suspicious,” said Penny. “And ultimately would lead them to the conclusion that an arson has been committed.”

Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact the Fire Marshal’s Office at (813) 274-7000.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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