Fire heavily damages furniture store

A second alarm was put in because of fear for surrounding buildings.

Published August 10, 2007

TAMPA - A three-alarm fire tore through a two-story furniture showroom and warehouse late Wednesday, closing N Dale Mabry Highway for hours as dozens of fire crews responded to the blaze.

The store was closed and no injuries were reported. The cause of the fire, which ignited around 11 p.m., remains under investigation.

Hillsborough County Fire Rescue spokesman Ray Yeakley said the first units arrived at The Furniture Show, 7214 N Dale Mabry Highway, about 11:15 p.m.

Firefighters saw flames coming from a corner of the 7,565-square-foot building, and immediately put in a second alarm because of the threat posed to neighboring structures, including an auto-alarm installation shop aglow in neon signage.

The fire eventually spread to the second floor of the building. Yeakley said fighting the fire was difficult because of the "maze of showrooms and abundance of furniture" inside the store.

Damages had not been estimated Thursday, but Yeakley said destruction from fire, smoke and water was extensive.

The owners of the building, Robert and Cynthia Heinlein, of Lutz, could not be reached for comment.

Casey Cora can be reached at 813 226-3386 or ccora@sptimes.com.