Fire at MW Horticulture in south Fort Myers burning for more than 24 hours

Reporter: Marcello Cuadra Writer: Drew Hill
Published: Updated:

Crews are still battling a fire at aĀ  recycling facility in south Fort Myers. This fire is expected to last at least another 24 hours.

Old 41 has reopened, but Thomas Road is still closed. The power has been turned back on though. Since Sunday morning, the fire has been burning at the MW Horticulture recycling facility off of Old 41.

According to San Carlos Park Fire, the fire has been contained to MW Horticulture property. However, you can still see red patches on the piles of mulch.

On Monday, the efforts continued after flames erupted on Sunday. You could see the hoses and lots of smoke as firefighters worked hard on a mulch fire at MW Horticulture.

David Cambareri is the fire chief of the San Carlos Fire Department. “When that burning process happens, and you get to a high level of heat, you have much cleaner burning that takes place. So less smoke,” said Cambareri.

As for the cause of this fire, they say mismanagement was involved. “So to the best of my knowledge, all I can tell you is we believe most of these fires are starting from the management of the piles,” Cambareri said.

The co-owner of MW Horticulture, Denise Houghtaling, gave us a different answer. “It appears that most likely, it’s probably a case of spontaneous combustion. But there’s a lot of other things that could happen.”

And, since the weather conditions were ripe for fires, MW Horticulture believes that’s just what happened. “We make organic compost. It is our job to keep the piles up to a certain temperature. We’d like them to be around 160 degrees. With the fire risk, it could just be a mixture of a lot of things.”ā€‹

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