Small fires around a large pile of sulfur at Port Manatee caused the closure of Piney Point Road and a portion of U.S. 41 on Monday afternoon, and two people were treated for smoke inhalation.
Port Manatee Deputy Executive Director Dave Sanford said that at approximately 3 p.m., a bulk terminal operator noticed several small fires. The operator attempted to extinguish the flames but was unsuccessful and called the North River Fire Department. The fires were put out once the department arrived, Sanford said.
Sanford said two people were treated for smoke inhalation. Additional information was unavailable Monday.
As a precaution, the North River Fire Department closed U.S. 41 from Moccasin Wallow Road to County Line Road Piney as well as Point Road until smoke cleared.
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Sanford is unsure of what caused the fires.
“It could have been heat from trucks operating in that area that sat idle,” Sanford said. “It could have been heat from an idling truck that ignited it.”