Large fire at scrap yard near Manatee port blazes Saturday

The fumes are hazardous and should be avoided.
A fire near Port Manatee blazes on Saturday.
A fire near Port Manatee blazes on Saturday. [ Bradenton Herald ]
Published April 9, 2022|Updated April 9, 2022

Fifty firefighters and emergency personnel worked to extinguish a chemical fire at a recycling scrapyard in Palmetto on Saturday.

At 10 a.m at 13838 Harlee Road, crews from the North River Fire Department were called to extinguish a fire in a scrapyard north of Seaport Manatee. Once they got to the scene, the department realized it was a large fire and activated their mutual aid response plan, calling for additional help from other departments.

Manatee County, Sarasota County and Hillsborough County responded to the call and provided resources and crews.

Because of the large amount of smoke, Manatee County government issued a no-fly zone a half-mile around the fire and the seaport, said Manatee County Director of Public Safety Jacob Saur.

By 2 p.m., 25 percent of the fire was contained but had extended past the main area and spread to a train storage yard owned by CSX.

What’s burning is a recycling pile with a mixture of metal, plastic and large vehicles, officials said. Crews used 2,000 gallons of foam and requested an additional foam semi-trailer from the city of Tampa.

“It’s a massive pile of combustible materials buried,” said North River assistant Chief Joe Sicking.”The foam can seep in and get to the base of the fire and cool it down, helping us put that fire out.”

The fumes are hazardous and should be avoided.

No one was reported injured. The fire is expected to burn through Saturday evening