What likely began as an errant attempt to move a disco ball yesterday night ended with the streets of Ybor City pluming with heavy, black smoke. A three-alarm fire was sparked in Tampa’s largest EDM venue, Amphitheatre, a popular nightclub and concert venue at 1609 E 7th Ave. It raged for nearly six hours before firefighters were able to stifle the flames.
Approximately 60 firefighters rushed to the scene, flames still licking through the roof of the club. The fire was reported to emergency personel at 7:47 p.m. Police closed down Seventh Avenue between N 15th Street and N 17th Street and pushed the ogling crowds away from the danger. Firefighters were still fighting flames around 10 p.m., and had not yet found the source of the blaze. The fire was only declared “under control” at around 1:30 the following morning.
For those of you who are unfamiliar, The Amp is the King of EDM shows in the entire Tampa Bay area. They’ve hosted artists from Steve Aoki and Adventure Club to Alison Wonderland and Marshmello. The venue boasts a circular moving dance floor that rotates during performances, giving everyone who comes out a front-row experience.
Tampa Fire Rescue officials theorize that the fire started while a welder was trying to install a new bracket to relocate a disco ball. The sparks ignited old fire retardant in the ceiling, the welder told firefighters later that night. The fire spread rapidly. However, there were only three people in the building at the time of ignition. They all escaped safely, firefighters said, and the building was not open to the public at the time. Two firefighters were injured and taken to the local hospital for care, one for smoke inhalation.
The venue was scheduled to host Grammy-nominated DJ Morgan Page this Saturday. He sent out a statement regarding the incident.
Awful news about @amp_tampa burning down. One of my fav clubs to play. Will have more info tomorrow about this weekend’s show
— Morgan Page (@morganpage) April 7, 2016
The Amphitheatre also responded to the fire on their Twitter at around 9 p.m.
We thank you for your concern – Everyone is safe. We will update you as soon as we can. #AMPFam
— Amphitheatre Tampa (@Amp_Tampa) April 7, 2016
Firefighters were still at the scene this morning looking for possible hotspots. Utility service to the nightclub and nearby buildings was still shut off early today. Traffic on Seventh Avenue between 15th and 17th streets remained closed to traffic early today. Club owners could not immediately be reached.
Tampa Bay Times released a video of the fire.
The Amp has been close to our hearts here at Noiseporn for years, and some of our best interviews have been conducted there. We’re confident The Amp will return from this tragedy bigger and better than ever, but our hearts are heavy in the meantime. We wish our #AmpFamily nothing but the best.