Car Crash Causes Fire at Express Lube

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An early morning fire that caused hundreds of thousands of dollars to a Florida business began when a car hit the building early Saturday morning, September 22, according to Tampa Fire Rescue.

There were no injuries reported at the scene. Damage to the building, which housed Havoline Express Lube, and its contents was estimated to be $800,000.

Firefighters were called to 503 E Sligh Ave. about 2:40 a.m. after dispatchers received multiple 911 calls saying that the metal structure was on fire with heavy smoke and flames coming from inside the building.

Photos courtesy: Tampa Bay Reporter

When crews arrived they began attacking the flames and and were unable to enter the building. Firefighters fought defensively until they were able to get the fire under control about 4 a.m.

A search of the building confirmed that there were no occupants inside.

According to the fire investigator’s report, the blaze was caused when a vehicle traveling at an unknown rate of speed crashed into the structure and ignited the combustible and flammable fluids inside.

Investigators were unable to determine the make or model of the vehicle and the driver and any passengers fled the scene undetected.

This story and accompanying photos first appeared on

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