Recycling plant fire near Middleton High School

Tampa, Florida -- A four-alarm fire near Middleton High School is causing some students to move around, but the school is not being evacuated.

Tampa Fire Rescue is on the scene of paper recycling plant near 25th Street and McBerry Street in Tampa. The facility used to be an aluminum recycling plant, but has since been repurposed for paper and cardboard products.

Firefighters are working to protect a couple of nearby buildings.

The fire is near Middleton High School and students have been moved away from that side of campus while firefighters use that side of the campus to park equipment. Students have also been instructed to stay inside.

Tampa Fire Rescue says the fire began in the conveyor area and that because of the compaction of cardboard, plastics and other office products, it has been very difficult for firefighters to saturate the area with water.

Fire Chief Thomas Forward says crews have been called out to the plant numerous times in the past, but the company has a good safety program in place and they notified Fire Rescue right away.

More than 500 firefighters are currently on scene, and Chief Forward hopes that crews will have everything wrapped up by the early evening.

No injuries have been reported.


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