Manatee County scrap yard fire sends large smoke plume over the Tampa Bay area – Tampa Bay Times

by FoxLive.News

A large fire broke out Friday when a car still containing some “combustible fluids” ignited at a scrapyard in Palmetto, local officials said, sending a large plume of smoke over the Tampa Bay area.
“This time they took in one particular vehicle that had not been crushed,” North River Fire District Fire Marshal Andrell Miller said at a news conference Friday afternoon. “They grabbed it with a grappler, threw it into a pile and it ignited.”
No injuries were reported from the fire. It was extinguished around noon Saturday, Captain Justin Cross of the North River Fire District said. Though there may still be steam coming from the pile, there should be no more black smoke, Cross added.
The fire was at the Aceros America scrap metal yard at 13838 Harllee Road in Palmetto, according to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office. The blaze began around noon Friday, Miller said. At least six agencies were on the scene and around 2,100 gallons of foam had been dumped on the flames by mid-afternoon.
The business recently hired an employee whose job is to sort through the piles and make sure there are no batteries, gas or antifreeze in the items, Miller said.
The car that caught fire had not been fully drained, he said.
Officials said this is the third fire at the scrapyard in eight months. In one instance, a crusher caught fire. In Friday’s blaze and one other previous event, piles caught fire.
The North River Fire District has been working with Aceros America to implement procedures to prevent more fires.
“But everything is a process,” Miller said. “They’ve complied with all our requirements up until now.”
The scrap metal yard is located next to the Manatee County Jail and just over a mile from SeaPort Manatee. Randy Warren, a spokesperson for the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, said jail operations were continuing normally, and there was no immediate threat to the health or prisoners or staff.

Residents around the Tampa Bay area reported seeing and smelling smoke from the fire.
During the Friday press conference, a reporter said they had never seen a smoke plume this large.
“Welcome to North River,” Miller said in response.
We are currently assisting North River Fire District with a scrap metal fire at Aceros America (13838 Harlee Rd.)

Harlee Rd. is currently closed, but operations at the Manatee County Jail are resuming as normal and inmate visitation remains open. #TrafficAdvisory #Fire pic.twitter.com/9VE2kYZzlM
Scrapyard fire near SeaPort Manatee as seen just now from Sunshine Skyway Bridge south approach. pic.twitter.com/qiVJXW8HIw
Just took this off bayshore. Still thick smoke pic.twitter.com/qCfiki3sGW
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Clearwater and Scientology Reporter
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