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Saturday, Jun 23, 2018
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Fire destroys Ben’s Family Restaurant in Brandon

Firefighters needed about an hour to get under control a two-alarm fire that destroyed Ben’s Family Restaurant in Brandon.

Hillsborough County Fire Rescue said it was called to the landmark restaurant, at 704 E. Brandon Blvd., about 5 p.m. Monday and saw heavy smoke and flames.

The restaurant was occupied and safely evacuated. Witnesses said they heard things falling above them and then saw a lot of smoke coming from the ceiling, the fire department said.

As firefighters worked inside the building, the roof started to collapsed, so they had to exit and continue the operation on a defensive mode, the agency said.

An aerial truck was used to fight the fire from above and to protect a restaurant next door.

“A second alarm was called due to the magnitude of the incident and the second structure being so close,” fire department spokesman Ronnie Rivera said in a news release

There were no injuries reported.

The building appears to be a total loss, Rivera said.

The family-owned restaurant has been in business for 30 years, according to its Facebook page.

A fire investigator is on the scene.

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