TAMPA (ABC Action News) – Tampa Fire Rescue responded to a massive scrap metal fire at 4201 Maritime Boulevard.
Smoke from the fire at Trademark Metals Recycling on Hooker’s Point across the channel from Peter O. Knight Airport could be seen for miles around Tampa Bay.
Officials say a large pile of appliances, household machinery and scrap iron caught fire.
Even though it was a large fire at the Port of Tampa, there were no immediate exposure hazards and no serious threat of any runoff getting into the waterways.
After an hour, officers called for a second alarm because additional firefighters were needed for the labor-intensive operation.
As of 9:20pm, crane operators and firefighters continued to move the burning pile of metals, while firefighters with ladders set up doused hot spots as the piles were moved.
Investigators said the cause of the fire is unknown and will likely remain that way because any evidence of where the fire started will be disturbed during the extinguishment process.
After talking with employees who first noticed the fire, Investigator Joe Hotz has ruled the fire an accident and suggested it is highly probable that the fire was caused by a spark from moving metals. It could have started hours before anyone noticed a big enough fire.
Tampa Fire Rescue dispatched 8 fire engines, 3 ladder trucks, 3 rescue cars, 3 chief officers, 1 vent truck, 1 foam truck and 2 investigators. In all, about 62 firefighters were on the scene.
As of 11pm, the fire was mostly out, but crews remain in the area to put out hot spots.
No civilian or firefighter injuries have been reported.