Tampa police lift order to stay indoors over chemical fumes

Reuters News
Posted: Aug 08, 2013 11:48 AM

(Reuters) - Tampa police lifted an order for some residents to stay indoors on Thursday after firefighters put out a fire in a silo at the Port of Tampa that sent a cloud of white smoke into the air, officials said.

Authorities urged people living in areas of downtown Tampa to remain inside after authorities received calls from residents complaining of eye irritation and reporting a cloud of smoke near the port.

Tampa Fire Rescue Capt. Lonnie Benniefield said the fire started inside a sulfur tank during routine maintenance.

Port workers used steam to try to contain the fire, but the combination unleashed a sulfur dioxide cloud, he said.

Firefighters extinguished the fire and used mist to break up the cloud, Benniefield said.

(Reporting by Kevin Gray; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick and Maureen Bavdek)