Two-alarm fire at metal and recycling plant sends large plume of smoke over Sarasota

Two-alarm fire at metal and recycling plant sends large plume of smoke over Sarasota

SARASOTA (WWSB) - If you were driving in Sarasota on Monday, you may have seen a large plume of smoke coming from the University and 301 area.

A two-alarm fire started at Suncoast Metals on 51st Street, a metal and recycling plant. The fire started in a pile of rubble and was caused by friction. Fire officials say as the items in the pile rubbed against one another while being pushed and pulled, it got hot enough to start a blaze.

Deputies are assisting with traffic on the scene of an industrial fire near 51st Street and Middle Avenue in Sarasota. You may see smoke nearby; please avoid the area.
Deputies are assisting with traffic on the scene of an industrial fire near 51st Street and Middle Avenue in Sarasota. You may see smoke nearby; please avoid the area. (Source: Sarasota County Sheriff's Office)

Nearby buildings were evacuated out of caution as crews fought the fire. After the visible flames were out, machinery was used to separate the pile to ensure there were no smaller fires still burning in the pile.

The fire is now out.

The photo below from Kirsten Ketchum Barat shows the massive plume of smoke rising as firefighters battled the blaze:

Fire at metal and recycling plant from Kirsten Ketchum Barat
Fire at metal and recycling plant from Kirsten Ketchum Barat (Source: Kirsten Ketchum Barat)

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