CFD: Mulch spontaneously combusts, sparks house fire in Clayton

CFD: Mulch spontaneously combusts, sparks house fire in Clayton (WKEF/WRGT)

CLAYTON, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) - Clayton Fire Department Battalion Chief Michael Seagraves said they believes a spontaneous combustion in mulch was to blame for a house fire Friday afternoon.

He said that if you leave mulch for a long time in the son with no moisture and don't turn it over, the fire can start from underneath and burn up through the wood. Normally it wouldn't be a major issue, but the wind apparently caught the fire and blew it up on to the porch, where it sparked a fire that spread to both levels of the house.

The house is an older one, and the fire quickly burned the first and second floor, causing about $30,000 or $40,000 worth of damage. The wind also presented a challenge for the crews as they tried to fight it, as the flames were driven by the wind and they had to pull all the ceilings down to make sure everything was under control.

It's unclear if anyone was home at the time of the fire, but no one was injured in the incident.

Seagraves said that it's important that anyone with mulch turn it over at least once a year to make sure that it won't catch fire.

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