CARMEL, Ind. – A Greenwood apartment complex was destroyed by flames on Wednesday that likely started from a mulch fire.
Firefighters across central Indiana have been busy responding to mulch fire calls that start small, but can create massive destruction.
On Wednesday, Firefighters with the Indianapolis Fire Department quickly put out a mulch fire that started in a median near Fountain Square.
Within the last 48 hours, firefighters in Carmel have responded to more than 20 mulch fire calls. Most of the time, mulch fires can be prevented.
"The majority we go on are disregarded cigarettes, so you need to be cognizant, if you're a smoker, when you're throwing that cigarette," said Carmel Fire Department PIO, Tim Griffin.
Sometimes, fresh mulch and dry conditions could be the perfect recipe for a fire to start even without a flame.
"The mulch itself can decompress over time, decompose and that decomposition can cause a chemical reaction that can actually cause the mulch to catch on fire by itself," Griffin said.
Even a small amount of smoldering can turn a small amount of smoke into a dangerous fire.
"Sometimes it can chase underneath the mulch even and kind of run along to another area," Griffin said. He added, "If it's up against the house, it can get in behind the soffits. It can run up behind your siding."
If you do have a small mulch fire, you can try to put it out using a rake or a small amount of water. But you should still call your local fire department.