Fire Crews Battle Large Mulch Fire

Oskaloosa firefighter Adam Haroldson tackles the flames at the B&B Bedding fire on Saturday afternoon.

Oskaloosa firefighter Adam Haroldson tackles the flames at the B&B Bedding fire on Saturday afternoon.

Oskaloosa, Iowa – The Oskaloosa Fire Department was dispatched to B&B Bedding on Saturday afternoon at approximately 4:15 p.m.

The report stated that two piles of mulch were on fire at the mulch production facility.

Mulch fires are not uncommon, as below-average rainfall, warm temperatures, and abnormal winds increase the risk of spontaneous combustion.

Winds were gusting between 25 to 40 mph, which drove the heat and sparks from one pile to another, and the plume of smoke into Oskaloosa.

It’s believed the mulch pile furthest to the south combusted, and the wind and heat blew the sparks to each subsequent pile directly to the north.

In all, nine different departments responded to the request for mutual aid, with most bringing tanker trucks. Water had to be trucked in from the city to keep firefighting efforts running.

Those agencies at the scene included Oskaloosa, New Sharon, Eddyville, Cedar Township, Bussey, Pella Rural, Albia, Wapello Rural, and Barnes City.

Fire crews were assisted by Mahaska County Sheriff’s Office, Oskaloosa Police Dept, Mahaska County Emergency Management, Mahaska 911 Center, Mahaska Health Partnership, Wapello County Emergency Management and Mahaska County CERT.

The Mahaska County CERT deployed their new rehab trailer and equipment to help firefighters and others assisting at the scene to cool off and recover from the heat and long hours of firefighting operations.

Many area businesses delivered and donated food and water to the scene for firefighters and support staff.

Approximately 35 firefighters in all took part in fighting the fire, with roughly 15 of those coming from Oskaloosa.

No buildings sustained damage, and no serious injuries were reported.

The last apparatus cleared the scene at approximately 2:30 am Sunday morning and returned around 8 am to knock down some hot spots that had flared up.

Posted by on Aug 5 2018. Filed under Local News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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