Thread: Playground Burns Spontaneously
08-15-2007, 02:52 PM #1
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Playground Burns Spontaneously
Hmmm Very interesting....
Spontaneous Fire Burns Playground
Fire Causes $35,000 Worth Of Damage
POSTED: 12:23 pm EDT August 15, 2007
UPDATED: 2:04 pm EDT August 15, 2007
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Arlington School District will spend $200,000 to replace wood chips with pea gravel at 35 playgrounds after a fire in which spontaneous combustion of the wood fiber was blamed, the superintendent said.
Surveillance video showed that nobody was around to start the fire at an elementary school playground last week, officials said.
The fire melted the plastic and metal equipment, causing $35,000 in damage, reported KXAS-TV in Dallas.
"It was a very unusual occurrence," Superintendent Mac Bernd said. "The material is designed so it won't burn."
Deputy Fire Marshal Keith Ebel said the conditions that caused the chips to catch fire were "like a perfect storm."
Heavy rains earlier this summer saturated the wooden material, which began to decompose in the recent summer heat wave.
High temperatures Thursday afternoon ignited the dry chips on the surface.
"Everything had to be just right for this to occur," Ebel said.
Officials said the fire was like the combustion that can occur with organic material in a compost pile if it is not turned regularly.
The district rakes the playground wood chips every 30 days, but, fire officials said, heat can build up more quickly than that.
Such combustion would occur only if poor quality material was used, said Mark Carlston, president and CEO of Forest Wood Fiber Products of Lake Elsinore, Calif.
The company does not supply wood chips for Arlington schools.
Carlston said problems could occur if the wood fiber contained lumber such as plywood with flammable resins or glues, or if it contained ground-up tree trimmings or similar vegetation.
"If the material is made correctly, I would say (spontaneous combustion) would be almost impossible," he said.
Bernd said if people had been at the playground, they would have likely had time to escape the fire. The wood fiber discolored and smoked before flames formed.
Ebel said there have been other unexplained fires at playgrounds that might be attributable to spontaneous combustion, but investigators couldn't rule out human intervention.
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08-15-2007, 04:09 PM #2
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As Beldar Conehead once said"Uh-huh,and let me know when Elvis gets here." Anything will burn if you get it hot enough.
I saw this on FOX and wondered why they didn't slow it down just before the flames started to show that there really wasn't anyone around when it lit off.
The use of foam sure knocked it down quick,at least.
08-15-2007, 04:19 PM #3
video about playground fires:
interesting video and the Arlington fire marshal is a great guy who explains many things,i sometimes chat with him."sauver ou périr"
"courage et dévouement"
2 french mottoes in french fire service.
08-15-2007, 05:36 PM #4
Around here we've seen an increase in these mulch fires that have spontaneously ignited, and have had quite a few so far just this summer. Nothing like that playground fire though, just smoldering, sometimes right against a house.NJ FFII/EMT-B
08-16-2007, 03:03 AM #5
Mulch spontaneously combusted in playground fire, officials say
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - The Arlington school district will
replace wood chips with pea gravel at 35 playgrounds in response to
a fire blamed on spontaneous combustion of the wood fiber.
Superintendent Mac Bernd says it will cost $200,000.
Officials say surveillance video showed that nobody was around
to start the fire at an elementary school playground last week.
Deputy Fire Marshal Keith Ebel say the conditions that caused
the chips to catch fire were "like a perfect storm."
Heavy rains earlier this summer saturated the wooden material,
which began to decompose in the recent summer heat. High
temperatures Thursday afternoon then ignited the dry chips on the
Officials say the fire was like the combustion that can occur
with organic material in a compost pile if it is not turned
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