Port fire causes chemical release in Tampa, Fla.

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Fire rescue officials in Tampa, Fla., asked residents to stay indoors temporarily after a release of sulfur dioxide from a tank in the port.

Tampa Fire Rescue Spokesman Capt. Lonnie Benniefield said the chemical was produced Thursday morning when firefighters poured water onto a small blaze in a silo containing sulfur in the Port of Tampa. Winds carried the smell into the downtown area.

Benniefield says sulfur dioxide can be harmful if someone is in an enclosed area, but is not as harmful in the open air.

But as a precaution, officials briefly asked people to stay indoors to avoid any possible irritation to their eyes and lungs. The request was later canceled.

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Information from: WTVT-TV, http://www.wtvt.com/

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