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.
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: