Firefighters spent the day battling a two-alarm blaze at the One Steel Recycling Plant on 22nd Causeway near the Port of Tampa Monday morning. The flames were intense and the smoke was so heavy, it even cast a cloud above downtown St. Pete.
"About 3:15 this morning, it was fireworks, like a 4th of July grande finale, just sparklers, like the ones you blow in the air and then after that a small flame, and it grew to what it became," said Chris McConnell, a transportation dispatcher who works in the building across the plant.
Firefighters had several challenges, including a diesel tank at the back of the plant. They used foam and a cooling monitor to prevent the fire spreading even more. In addition, they had to clear the pile of metal.
"The space was very limited in there and the recycling company had its own equipment in there, so getting that equipment out, you see we have ladder trucks in a triangle formation basically shooting water at each angle," explained Nacole Revette, Public Information Officer at the Hillsborough County Fire Rescue.
Investigators are still trying to find out what sparked the fire. Meanwhile, it's the first time the plant has had such a huge blaze.
"There's always an explosion over there of some sort or be it a propane tank or sometimes they'll be gas left, but the fireworks, that was the first I've seen that," Chris said.