TAMPA, Fla. – A three-alarm fire at The Province Apartments destroyed four units on Thursday, off-campus housing for University of South Florida students near Busch Gardens. One firefighter was injured.
The call was received about 1 p.m., and firefighters found heavy smoke and flames coming from the second and third floors on the southeast side of the three-story, multi-unit brick building at 10921 McKinley Drive. , according to Tampa Fire Rescue.
All residents were evacuated. Firefighters had the blaze under control by 2:20 p.m.
There were no injuries to residents.
Investigators said the fire was caused by discarded smoking materials and originated on a second-floor balcony. The fire is considered accidental.
Damage was estimated at $700,000.
Apartment managers will assist displaced residents.
Tampa Fire Rescue told 10News reporter Shannon Valladolid that one firefighter was injured when debris fell onto him. He was transported to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
WTSP checked city records and did not find any issues with code enforcement or complaints. The apartments have a partnership with USF for student housing.
Recent permits were pulled for painting balcony railings. The buildings were constructed in 2009 and have the required fire walls and sprinkler systems required by code.