Mulch fire extends slightly into Macy's store

Mulch fire extends slightly into Macy's store

CHAMPAIGN — A fire in mulch near the Macy’s store at the Market Place Mall extended into a wall of the department store Saturday afternoon.

Champaign Fire Lt. Michael King said shortly after 4 p.m. there was a mulch fire on the southwest side of Macy’s, the side near the entrance to the mall off Neil Street.

“Someone tried to extinguish it but apparently couldn’t get it out. They thought it might have gone into the building,” he said.

King said firefighters touched the wall and felt it was warm and could smell an odor. That prompted them to open the exterior wall of the store from the inside.

“The mulch fire had extended a little into the wall and they were able to put it out with extinguishers,” he said, adding that the damage was minimal.

The windy conditions Saturday moved the fire quickly through the old mulch.

“Remind people to be especially careful with cigarettes when it’s windy,” said King.

Firefighters were also called to Enterprise Works on East Hazelwood Drive west of South First Street about 4:30 p.m. to another report of a mulch fire near cars.

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pattsi wrote on April 07, 2013 at 8:04 am

Why was there burning of mulch in the first place? The Champaign ordinance against burning of mulch/leaves, etc. has been in place for a quarter of a century. Second, whether there is an ordinance in place or not, the amount of wind on this day would make any outside burning dangerous.