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Date of Issue: April 22, 2009

Hot fan at store draws firefighters, police

West Manatee Fire Rescue District firefighters remove a ladder from the Circle K, 2513 Gulf Drive N., Bradenton Beach, April 16. Islander Photos: Lisa Neff

Multiple sirens wailed and flashing lights cleared traffic April 16 as local police and West Manatee Fire Rescue District personnel raced to a call from a Bradenton Beach gas station and convenience store.

The incident turned out to be minor. An exhaust fan in the store, 2513 Gulf Drive N., overheated, generating some smoke and melting some tiles, according to Dennis Dotson, WMFR battalion chief.

But the response was major, with multiple fire trucks, WMFR supervisor vehicles and Bradenton Beach and Holmes Beach police officers rushing to the location at about 2 p.m. Gasoline pumps are located just north of the store.

Firefighters in full gear checked inside the store and on the roof, but did not locate any flames, just smoke.

“Somebody burn the popcorn?” nearby resident Paul Herbert asked as he approached the scene with a camera-phone.

Soon after, firefighters reported on the hot exhaust fan.

Clerks at the store reported that there was no damage and, once emergency personnel left, they were conducting business again.