Fire rips through Palm Harbor storage facility - FOX 13 News

Fire rips through Palm Harbor storage facility

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(Photo Anjuli Lohn, FOX 13) (Photo Anjuli Lohn, FOX 13)
PALM HARBOR (FOX 13) -

An overnight fire caused millions of dollars in damage to a storage facility in Palm Harbor. The fire broke out around 12:30 Wednesday, at Florida West Covered Storage in Palm Harbor.

At least four dozen RVs, boats, and even a classic car were destroyed in the fire. Nearly four dozen firefighters worked tirelessly to control the blaze, as RV's and boats violently exploded.

Renters rushed over after hearing about the fire on the news to see what could be saved.

Dan Gosche was one of about 80 people left with nothing but ashes. His family's RV and personal belongings were torched.

"Lot of memories, a lot of memories," he said this morning.

Caroline Charpie only had her RV for a few months. Only a scorched shell of the vehicle remains, parked precisely where she left it just a few days ago.

"We took it on two trips. It's got 3,000 miles and all loaded with our personal stuff. You know, it's like your baby. It's your second home. It's expensive enough to be a second home, and it's gone," she said.

Unfortunately, renters won't get any answers on the cause of the fire anytime soon.

Firefighters worked for hours throughout the day, just trying to keep the wind from flaring up hot spots, smoldering under the facility's melted roof.

"It's still very hot underneath the collapsed areas. We're still trying to control the fires that are within the buildings," Palm Harbor Fire Chief Craig Maciuba said Wednesday.

The hotspots are also delaying an inventory of what exactly was lost. Damage to the building itself is estimated at $2 million.

"The contents, because of the roof collapses, we can't fully determine that, but it will be into the several millions of dollars," Maciuba said.

As the Fire Marshal and arson investigators sort through the rubble, families are turning to their insurance companies and left wondering what's next.

"It's not going to be a quick fix now. It won't be," Charpie said.

Maciuba says crews will be on scene for a few days, mopping up hot spots and eventually cutting the roof into several smaller pieces.

Investigators were able to pull some surveillance footage from one of the facility's surveillance cameras before it melted, to review how exactly the fire started.

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