Massive blaze near Port of Tampa: Explosive materials in vicinity — “Witness saw fireworks before blaze… After the fireworks ended, the fire began” (VIDEO)

Published: February 18th, 2013 at 12:01 pm ET
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Source: Tampa Tribune

WFTS, Updated at 10:28a ET: The Hillsborough Country Fire Rescue is fighting to gain control of a massive two-alarm fire at a metal recycling industrial complex [...] Firefighters say there is currently no immediate danger to the public, however, there is fuel present and they are monitoring two large diesel tanks that firefighters are trying to protect from the flames. Earlier reports said the tanks were filled with anhydrous ammonia, but officials say the substance is actually calcium nitrate, a less reactive chemical. [...] Explosion-like noises have already been heard and crews are working to keep the fire from explosive materials in the vicinity.

Tampa Tribune, 11:15a ET: Witness saw fireworks before blaze at plant near Port of Tampa [...] One witness said he saw what he believed to be fireworks going off near the recycling yard just prior to the flames erupting. Chris McDonnell, a dispatcher with Dillon Transport, a trucking company across the street, about 500 feet, from OneSteel, said he reported to work at 3:15 a.m. and noticed fireworks just after that. “It looked like the Fourth of July,” he said. “It was like a grand finale of fireworks. After the fireworks ended, the fire began.” [...]

The following report was filed in the “CRIME” section:

Bay News 9, 11:41a ET: Smoke still pouring from Tampa metal recycling plant fire [...] After the fire was brought under control at about 7 a.m., a huge plume of smoke continued to pour from the smoldering large pile of steel that had been burning most of the morning. The smoke was spotted as far away as Manatee and Pinellas counties and in Plant City. [...]

Watch more video of the blaze here

Published: February 18th, 2013 at 12:01 pm ET
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