A fire broke out at the Yuengling Brewery in North Tampa around 8 pm Saturday engulfing the building in flames. According to officials the blaze was not started on purpose and foul play is not suspected at this time.
Thick smoke greeted fire crews when they arrived at the storage building connected to the brewery. At least 60 firefighters were dispatched to the scene; workers in an adjacent building were safely evacuated.
At first, firefighters who tried to enter the building on the fifth story level were met with dense black smoke and impossibly high heat conditions. Those firefighters were evacuated as a precaution as the building was too hot for them to enter.
Fire crews got the Yuengling Brewery fire under control around one hour after they arrived. Multiple aerial ladders as well as trucks were used to combat the intense heat and plumes of smoke emanating from the brewery.
Fortunately, no workers from the Yuengling Brewery were injured in the fire, although one Tampa Bay firefighter was taken to a local hospital after sustaining a minor injury.
The damage caused by the Yuengling Brewery fire is estimated at around $1 million, pending further investigation of the scene. It appears that the majority of the damage was to the actual structure of the building.
Yuengling, the oldest brewery in the U.S. is one of America’s largest beer producers. The brewery was originally owned by the Schlitz family and was sold to Yuengling in 1999.
It remains to be seen what was the cause of the Yuengling Brewery fire as fire marshals and city officials continue to investigate the massive blaze.