GIBSONTON, Fla. – Hillsborough County Fire Rescue responded to a fire at 9815 US Highway 41 in Gibsonton, the small house behind Al “The Giant” Tomaini’s monument.
HCFR’s dispatch center received a 911 call at 6:14 AM Saturday from callers reporting the fire. HCFR’s Engine 12 was first on the scene, confirming the small wooden structure was fully involved.
Crews used saws to cut the fence and deployed handlines to battle the blaze. There were reports there could be occupants inside the structure, so crews conducted primary and secondary searches.
No occupants were found. It took firefighters just ten minutes to extinguish the fire.
There were no injuries to first responders or civilians, and HCFR’s Fire Investigations Unit is investigating the fire’s cause.
Al “The Giant” Tomaini’s Camp was a Hillsborough County landmark for over half a century and it’s name came from the Giant himself – Al Tomaini.
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It was started in Gibsonton by Al Tomaini and his wife, Jeanie in the early 50’s as a hangout for the show people who gathered in the town each winter. The “giant” stood 8 feet, 4.5 inches tall in his size 22 shoes and weighed 356 pounds. Jeanie was 2 feet, 6 inches tall, having been born with a birth defect.