Mulch Factory Fire Burns

Wednesday, June 28, 2017 @ 10:06 AM gHale

A St. Joseph County highway opened back up as crews continue to try to put out a massive fire at a mulch factory in Mottville, MI.

M-103 at U.S. 12 reopened early Tuesday morning after a fire started at the Michiana Decorative Mulch Factory around 1:30 p.m. Monday, on M-103 near Mottville.

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At least 24 different fire departments from across Michigan and Indiana responded to the massive fire at Michiana Decorative Mulch.

At least one firefighter went to the hospital suffering from smoke inhalation while battling the fire overnight. That firefighter was later treated and released.

Fire crews say wind, dry weather and piles of recyclable material are making this fire very difficult to contain.

By land and by air, crews continue to fight the raging fire that can be seen from miles away.

Multiple acres at the facility have been consumed by the blaze.

“I thinking the entire complex is 38 acres,” said Doug Kuhlman, Mottsville Township Zoning official. “You’re looking at close to half, if not more, that is currently on fire.”

At one point, explosions could be heard as the flames overtook a maintenance building on site.

There has been no official word on the cause of the fire, but one worker at the factory said it started because of a malfunction on the mulch fermentation process.

Firefighters were going to let the fire burn itself out. It was contained as of Tuesday morning, and crews are working to continue to keep it that way.

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