Why Does This Gay Bathhouse Keep Catching on Fire?
For the second time in one week, a fire broke out at a gay bathhouse in the Ybor City section of Tampa Bay, Florida.
Of course, Florida.
Ybor Resort and Spa described itself as Tampa Bay’s “largest, all-gay, private men’s club, resort, and bathhouse.” Previous owners sold the building on Feb. 8 and closed the business at the end of that month. New owners took over the building on March 8.
Tampa Bay Times reports:
The March 11 fire caused $100,000 in damage and was ruled an arson, but no arrests have been made. Saturday’s fire started about 3 a.m., said Tampa Fire Chief Thomas Forward.
When crews arrived to the scene at 1512 E Eighth Ave., they saw smoke and flames coming through the building’s windows, Forward said. But it was not until 20 minutes later that a second alarm for more units was called.
By early morning, firefighters said they were working to keep the fire inside Ybor Resort & Spa, but were worried about it spreading to neighboring businesses. There were no reported injuries, and the fire was under control by 7 a.m.
One person on Facebook wrote, “Bye bye Ybor Resort and Spa. Good thing they closed last week. Smells like an insurance scam or a pissed off meth head that set it a blaze tonight. Hopefully nobody was in the building.”
Back in 2012, the bathhouse made national headlines when during the Republican National Convention, it offered free admission to GOP delegates.
Investigators said last week’s fire was started after one or more people broke into the building and set fires at multiple locations.
So who do you think is behind the fires? The new owners trying to gut the place, disgruntled former customers or gay bashers? It’s Florida – so it really could be any or all of the above.