Pinellas News

Officials: costly PH storage fire still being probed

A Palm Harbor storage facility fire that occurred in late March and caused millions of dollars in damage doesn’t appear to be suspicious, but the case remains under investigation, Palm Harbor Fire Rescue said.

Investigators don’t know the cause of the fire at this time, but have estimated damages between $4 million and $5 million, the fire department said.

A final report on the fire investigation is expected to be released in July, the fire department said.

The fire occurred March 25 at the Florida West RV Storage, 4470 U.S. Alt 19, where RVs, boats and classic cars were stored.

The fire started in what officials are calling buildings B and C. The majority of the fire damage was contained in these two buildings, fire officials said.

The two buildings total 23,000 square feet. It had 48 parking spaces with 44 spaces rented. All the vehicles in the 44 spaces were destroyed, including nine boats, two classic cars, one military vehicle and 32 RV motor homes, officials said.

Two additional buildings, which are identified as buildings A and D by officials, sustained fire exposure to the vehicles inside. In building A, there was fire exposure damage to 24 RVs, and in building D there was fire exposure damage to seven RVs, according to fire officials.

It took roughly four dozen firefighters from a half dozen fire departments in North Pinellas — including some from Clearwater’s, Dunedin’s, East Lake’s and Safety Harbor’s — to bring the fire under control.

Investigators from Palm Harbor Fire Rescue, Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, Florida State Fire Marshals and agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives have worked on the case.

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