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UPDATE: Fumes under control at Port of Tampa | News

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UPDATE: Fumes under control at Port of Tampa

Tampa, Florida -- Tampa Fire Rescue gave the all-clear at the Port of Tampa Thursday morning, after earlier urging anyone in the vicinity to stay indoors due to a chemical smell that emanated from a fire.

PHOTOS: Silo fire at Port of Tampa

Investigators say the fire began when a work crew was doing some
routine maintenance on a tank filled with raw sulfur. Something
sparked the small fire and when the the workers tried to put it out, the water
and steam mixed with the sulfur, creating a cloud of sulfur dioxide. 

Fire Rescue arrived on scene and quickly extinguished the fire, but the concern at that point
was to dissipate the gas cloud that had formed. 

As a precaution, they warned
people to stay inside in the southern Downtown Tampa area, concerned the gas -
which is a mild irritant - might drift into the heavily populated area.

Symptoms of exposure to sulfur dioxide fumes include irritation of the eyes, nose and respiratory tract, which can lead to headaches and dizziness.

Fire officials
say there are plenty of chemicals at the port that might have been far
more dangerous than this chemical. They say the stored sulfur stored is
generally used to make fertilizer.

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