Thread: Pet Bedding

  1. #1
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    Question Pet Bedding

    On 1/21/02 our department responded to 2 seperate fires 4 hours apart at a local pet store. Both fires involved paper/wood pulp pet bedding. Has anyone had any experience with spontaneous combustion of this material or any similar incidents?

  2. #2
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    NCRSQ751's Avatar
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    Not specifically pet bedding, but it sounds to me it's the same concept as a mulch fire. That is not uncommon.

    The stuff decays and is all packed together with no place to vent from underneath - next thing you know all those nice by-products of the decomposition process combust on you.

    You can't just soak a large pile. You need to spread out the pile to a thin layer, then soak it or you will be back again.
    Susan Lounsbury
    Winston-Salem Rescue Squad
    Griffith Volunteer FD

  3. #3
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    This type of material should not spontaneously heat. It is not the same as mulch. It should be dry and clean and there should be no environment in which the decomposition process (which generates the heat in a mulch fire) should be able to take place.

    The first thing that I would do is make sure that you don't have an incendiary fire. If you don't, check to see if this material was contaminated by something (water or chemical) that would have started a self-heating cycle.

    The thing to remember about spontaneous combustion fires is that your initial material ignited is usually in the center of the pile. You will have significant degradation of the material in the center of the pile with only a couple of small areas where it vented to the exterior.

    Also, the basics are, you need an organic material, an oxidizer and insulation for a spontaneous combustion fire to occur. If the bedding is in a sealed bag or piece of furniture, you may not have all these things.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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