Pasco County Commission Chairman Ron Oakley praised the work of emergency responders who converged on the Dade City Business Center, in Dade City, to put out a two-alarm fire, which began in the early afternoon on Jan. 18.
It took about 18 hours to bring the fire under control, according to a report from Pasco County Fire Rescue.
Pasco County Fire Rescue investigators attributed the cause of the fire to welding being done by an employee. The estimated damage to the business center was put at $3 million.
Oakley said local firefighters were joined by crews from other counties and received support from various agencies, in the quest to put out the raging fire.
“At the height of the fire, there were approximately 114 personnel on the scene working to mitigate the incident,” Oakley told his fellow Pasco County commissioners, during the board’s Jan. 22 meeting.
“There were no injuries. That’s the best part of the whole thing,” Oakley said.
“The fire started about 12:30 or 1 o’clock on Friday. You could see it from downtown Dade City. Just black smoke. It was hard to figure what was going on at the time.
“It started in one warehouse and it moved from one to three warehouses, and it affected five out of seven businesses right in that area in the business center,” Oakley said.
Combating the fire involved having to shut down the railway, which is no easy feat, he said.
Fortunately, there was sufficient water at the business center site to battle the blaze, Oakley said. Otherwise, crews would have had to close U.S. 301 to get to the closest water, Oakley said.
The commission chairman said he plans to send a letter thanking everyone who helped, including various agencies and the businesses that provided food to feed those working the incident.
Published January 30, 2019