A fire was quickly extinguished at the AP Bell Fish Company in Cortez late Friday afternoon after boat repairing materials burned emitting dark black smoke into the sky.
At 5:27 p.m. West Manatee Fire Rescue were dispatched the call about a reported fire at the AP Bell Fish Company, 4600 124th Street W., Cortez, according to Fire Marshal Jim Davis. The neighboring U.S. Coast Guard station had also reported seeing black smoke coming from the building.
The fire was quickly extinguished but the building was still filled with smoke and fumes from the fiberglass resin, used to repair boats.
Four fire engines, one from each of West Manatee’s stations, and one from neighboring Cedar Hammock Fire Rescue responded to the fire call.
“There was a lot of potential in this building because of the sheer size of the building,” Davis said.
For years, he said, West Manatee had prepared for the possibility should there be a fire in the building, putting together a contingency plan.
In addition to the building’s size, the construction type and age of the building also make it very vulnerable, according to Davis.
Davis and fire inspectors were still waiting at 6:15 a.m. for the smoke and fumes to clear so that they could begin their investigation into what caused the fire.