Tampa, Florida-- A Seminole Heights fire burns down two businesses overnight.
A restaurant called Domani Bistro and Lounge and an antique furniture store called A Modern Line went up in flames early Tuesday morning around 2:00 off North Florida Avenue and East North Street.
Tampa Fire Department investigators said an electric/mechanical problem in the restaurant's walk-in freezer started the fire.
"I got here as soon as possible and when I showed up, there were 50-foot flames shooting through the roof," said Brian Bosco, co-owner of Domani's restaurant.
Bosco and his business partner, Bernard Agostino started Domani Italian fusion food restaurant only 19 months ago. They are struggling to understand how this could have happened.
"We wanted to contribute to this neighborhood's exciting developments and add some of what newspapers called 'New York flavor'," said Bosco.
They built the restaurant from the ground up.
"We tore down the offices that were here and built everything, and it cost hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars," said Agostino. "I did this all for my brother, and now it's gone."
Agostino's brother was Salvatore Agostino. He was killed in October of 2010 at his business in South Tampa.
"Salvatore was supposed to be a part of this restaurant, he wanted this. This place was his dream and we did it all for him and now it is gone," said Agostino.
The Business Guild of Seminole Heights quickly spread the message of the terrible fire through social media.
Within hours, dozens and dozens of people showed up with boxes and trucks to help take whatever was salvageable from the restaurant and furniture store.
"I am just friends with these businesses on Facebook and saw they needed help with boxes at 2:00 today so here I am helping," said one woman carrying boxes to the furniture store.
"This is what the people of Seminole Heights do for our community. We help no matter how bad or how hard the situation is," said another woman holding a painting that someone else was wrapping up carefully to put into a truck.
They loaded up several truck loads from the furniture store and are keeping them in businesses that donated their storage space.
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