Mulch fire breaks out at MW Horticulture

Reporter: Marcello Cuadra Writer: Drew Hill
Published: Updated:
mulch fire MW Horticulture
Credit: Nancy Piper

A mulch fire sparked at MW Horticulture along Thomas Road in Lee County. And smoke from that fire filled the air, and fire crews said it then started a brush fire. This is just off of Michael G. Rippe Parkway.

WINK News viewers sent us plenty of pictures and videos of the fire, along with San Carlos Park Fire.

As of 9 p.m., the flames were still there, but they’ve gone down some since early Sunday afternoon.

Firefighters are still hosing down that mountain of mulch as of this night. And a spokesperson for the San Carlos Park Fire District says that state fire marshal determined the cause of the fire to be internal combustion caused by mismanagement of the mulch piles.

Video from earlier on Sunday afternoon showed how high the flames were from the intersection of Alico Road and Old US-41. And video from Michael G. Rippe Parkway showed how heavy the smoke was.

The spokesperson for the fire district also said they’ve got multiple crews and units at the scene to fight this fire. They also told us that a man was being treated for injuries.

On Sunday evening, WINK News reporter Marcello Cuadra spoke with the co-owner of MW Horticulture. She told him that her husband was in the hospital being treated for smoke inhalation.

A WINK News viewer named Nancy Piper says she saw the fire and the smoke billowing into the sky. “I drive by there almost every day to go to the gym. And so I see those backhoes working. It was impressive to see how much smoke was coming out of that pile,” Piper said. “It’s a huge pile of mulch. So I felt I felt bad for the people who were having to work for fire because the smoke was just overwhelming.”

There has been no update on the brush fire that started nearby. But, Florida Forest Service is working on the brush fire.

San Carlos Park Fire says people who live near the mulch fire should expect smoky conditions for the next 48 hours.

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