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Firefighters see increase in mulch fires

By: Andy Cunningham Email
By: Andy Cunningham Email

The Lexington Fire Department is warning people about the dangers of mulch fires.

The department says they responded to 27 grass and mulch fires in 72 hours. The vast majority of these fires, according to fire officials, are a direct result of improperly discarded cigarettes.

"A lot of times somebody before they go to bed will go out on the deck, and they'll throw a cigarette down. They'll go in there and lay down. It might smolder for three or four hours, and I've made runs like every other firefighter has at three or four o'clock in the morning," said Battalion Chief Ed Davis with Lexington Fire.

In addition, a house on Vanderbilt Drive sustained heavy damage last week after a cigarette butt was discarded in vegetation near an attached deck. The fire spread from the deck to the house, causing thousands of dollars in damage according to the fire department.

Fire officials say that the past couple of weeks have been unusually dry for this time of year. They believe this is also a contributing factor in the rise of mulch and vegetation fires.

The Lexington Fire Department reminds everyone of the following:

*Never dispose of a cigarette by throwing it on the ground, into a trash can, or out of a car window. Place them only
in approved receptacles.
*Never toss cigarettes off of a deck or porch.
*Never place cigarette butts into potted plant containers.
*Whenever possible extinguish cigarette butts with water before discarding them.

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