Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Back-to-back fires require razing 1904 Ybor City building, owner says

For the second time in two weeks, a fire broke out at a vacant gay bathhouse in Ybor City early Saturday. The first fire caused $100,000 in damage was ruled an arson, but no arrests have been made. [WTSP]

For the second time in two weeks, a fire broke out at a vacant gay bathhouse in Ybor City early Saturday. The first fire caused $100,000 in damage was ruled an arson, but no arrests have been made. [WTSP]

YBOR CITY— The new owners of a building where fire broke out two weekends in a row say they had hoped to remodel the 1904 building but now will tear it down for new construction.

Meantime, investigators are treating the two fires at the Ybor Resort & Spa as related, said Jason Penny, Tampa Fire Rescue spokesman.

"This goes back to the original fire," Penny said.

Ariel Quintela, co-owner of the building, said the developers plan commercial space on the first floor at the site with three floors of apartments above it. The fires in the early morning hours of successive Saturdays, March 11 and March 18, scuttled plans to remodel the two-story building.

"It's scary and it's sad that anyone would do that," Quintela said, "It's hard to explain why but it's to the point that you know it's the same person; you know someone has a vendetta."

Quintela is a partner in Ybor Patio, which bought the building at 1512 E 8th Ave., on Feb. 8 and took possession March 8.

The Ybor Resort & Spa advertised as a gay-owned and gay-operated private men's club, resort and bathhouse.

The first fire occurred at 3:30 a.m. March 11 and caused an estimated $100,000 damage. It was ruled an arson after investigators determined an someone entered the vacant building illegally and set fires at a number of spots.

The investigation was still under way when the second fire broke out Saturday.

Anyone with information about the fires may contact the city Fire Marshal's Office at (813) 274-7000 or use the anonymous tips page at www.tampagov.net/arsontips.

Rewards of up to $2,500 or more are available for information leading to the identification of persons involved in arson fires.

Back-to-back fires require razing 1904 Ybor City building, owner says 03/20/17 [Last modified: Monday, March 20, 2017 4:59pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Muslims thankful for support after rant, deadly attack

    Crime

    PORTLAND, Ore. — Muslims in Portland, Ore., thanked the community for its support and said they were raising money for the families of two men who were killed when they came to the defense of two young women — one wearing a hijab — who were targeted by an anti-Muslim rant.

    Jeremy Christian is accused of killing 2 men who stepped in as he berated two women.
  2. Following Trump's trip, Merkel says Europe can't rely on U.S. anymore

    Politics

    LONDON — German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday declared a new chapter in U.S.-European relations after contentious meetings with President Donald Trump last week, saying that Europe "really must take our fate into our own hands."

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel, shown speaking with President Trump last week, says Europe “must take our fate into our own hands.”
  3. Seven children, 1 to 10, seriously injured when driver loses control on I-4

    Accidents

    TAMPA — Seven young passengers 1 to 10 years old were seriously injured when the driver of a Chevrolet Suburban lost control, causing the vehicle to flip and hit a fence on Interstate 4 just east of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

  4. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of May 29-June 4

    Events

    Memorial Day: Among the free events paying tribute to fallen soldiers today is the Bay Pines VA Memorial Day Ceremony in St. Petersburg, with speakers including Sen. Bill Nelson and Rep. Charlie Christ, musical performances, a rifle salute and taps. (727) 319-6479 . The Florida National Cemetery …

    Young blonde boy carrying an American Flag over a wooden Bridge.
  5. Sheriff's Office: Drug dispute preceded fatal Largo motel shooting

    Crime

    LARGO — A fight over drugs preceded the shooting death of a 47-year-old man Thursday night at a Largo motel, the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said Sunday.

    Angel E. Martinez, 24, is accused in the shooting death of Ricky Garland, 47, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office. [Pinellas County Jail]