'Huge Trash Fire' shuts down nearby businesses

Tampa, Florida -- A large 4-alarm fire at the RockTenn recycling plant is now out, according to Tampa Fire Rescue.

They believe the blaze started in the conveyor area.

At least 50 firefighters responded, including assistance from Hillsborough Fire Rescue. The plant is located right next to Middleton High School, just east of north 22nd street, and south of East Hillsborough Avenue.

The owner of a nearby industrial building, just feet away from the burning plant, told 10 News he rushed down to his store when he saw the smoke, thinking it was his place that was on fire, because it is was close.

"I started spraying our woods with the hose to get everything wet," Brian Fernandez says he ran for the hose and doused his property as smoke filled the streets and the buildings nearby.

A worker said this fire affects a whole lot. It made workers slow down, and shut down. One onlooker said, "It's close. It's bad, smells, makes you gag."

Crews were dealing with a pile of paper fueling this fire. Firefighters described it as a giant trash fire, "There was an employee here who saw the fire, tripped the alarm and got us out here."

The smoke and smoldering ash were the biggest problem. Firefighters say the businesses and traffic are reasons why they focused on getting it knocked down as soon as possible. Middleton High School students were not evacuated but moved to the far side of the building as a precaution.

Fire rescue crews will continue to stand watch until 7:30 a.m. Thursday to ensure no combustible materials reignite.

There were no injuries.


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