LAUREL, Md. (AP) — Prince George’s County firefighters are battling a blaze at an industrial mulch plant in Laurel. 

Fire department spokesman Mark Brady says several piles of mulch are on fire, and the flames are spreading from pile to pile because of strong winds. He says the fire is out of control and has gone to two alarms. 

Brady estimates there are about 100 piles of mulch at the site on Van Dusen Road, and each is about 30 feet tall and 100 yards long. 

There haven’t been any injuries, but some pieces of fire equipment have been abandoned because they’re in unsafe positions. 

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

Comments (20)
  1. Herman Glimsher says:



    1. jaboa says:

      Dear Hermie,
      With today’s wind and the heavy smoke our firefighters were at extreme risk just being anywhere near the area. I am thankful that we have men and women brave enough to get out there and battle these blazes. Maybe you should get off your duff and try doing a better job. Be thankful for the many blessings and that people are willing to risk their own lives for us!

  2. P.G. Native says:

    pure ignorance!

  3. Cathy says:

    Spontanious combustion? Can happen with hay that’s stored damp too.

  4. Rose says:

    what are those men thinking, fire 40 mile an hour winds?

  5. MikeCalo says:

    Hey Herman – what’s a HUMAN LIFE worth, you dolt?

  6. tony Big Baloney says:

    Laurel is a s….hole.

  7. Lt Daniel Lewis says:

    @ Herman… Depending on the type of truck it is, who made it, options installed, and tools and equipment on board a fire truck can cost anywhere from $250,000 to $1,000,000. Yes, we firefighters ARE trained on apparatus placement; but please consider the following… One – No two calls are alike, EVER! Two – They probably placed those trucks and equipment in the best place they could for the INITIAL call and with 9 years in the fire service, I can tell you that situations change and often very quickly. Three – People can make mistakes and this includes firefighters. So…. Climb down off your self righteous high horse and either volunteer your own time and sweat to learn what it is that we do and how we do it or stop making ignorant accusations!

    “I Wish You Could See”

    ” I wish you could know what it is like too search a burning bedroom for trapped children, flames rolling above your head, your palms and knees burning as you crawl, the floor sagging under your weight as the kitchen

    I wish you could comprehend a wife’s horror at 3 in the morning as I check her husband of 40 years for a pulse and find none. I start CPR anyway, hoping to bring him back, knowing intuitively it is too late. But wanting his wife and family to know everything possible was done to try to save his life.

    I wish you knew the unique smell of burning insulation, the taste of soot-filled mucus, the feeling of intense heat through your turnout gear, the sound of flames crackling, the eeriness of being able to see absolutely nothing in dense smoke-sensations that I’ve become too familiar with.

    I wish you could understand how it feels to go home in the morning after having spent most of the night, hot and soaking wet at a multiple alarm fire.

    I wish you could read my mind as I respond to a building fire “Is this a false alarm or a working fire? How is the building constructed? What hazards await me? Is anyone trapped?”

    Or to an EMS call? “What is wrong with the patient? Is it minor or life-threatening? Is the caller really in distress or is he waiting for us with a 2×4 or a gun?”

    I wish you could be in the emergency room as a doctor pronounces dead the beautiful five-year old girl that I have been trying to save during the past 25 minutes. Who will never go on her first date or say the words, “I love you Mommy” again.

    I wish you could know the frustration I feel in the cab of the engine or my personal vehicle, the driver with his foot pressing down hard on the pedal, your arm tugging again and again at the air horn chain, as you fail to yield the right-of-way at an intersection or in traffic. When you need us however, your first comment upon our arrival will be, “It took you forever to get here!”

    I wish you could know my thoughts as I help extricate a girl of teenage years from the remains of her automobile. “What if this was my sister, my girlfriend or a friend? What were her parents reaction going to be when they opened the door to find a police officer with hat in hand?”

    I wish you could know how it feels to walk in the back door and greet my parents and family, not having the heart to tell them that I nearly did not come back from the last call.

    I wish you could feel the hurt as people verbally, and sometimes physically, abuse us or belittle what I do, or as they express their attitudes of “It will never happen to me.”

    I wish you could realize the physical, emotional and mental drain or missed meals, lost sleep and forgone social activities, in addition to all the tragedy my eyes have seen.

    I wish you could know the brotherhood and self-satisfaction of helping save a life or preserving someone’s property, or being able to be there in time of crisis, or creating order from total chaos.

    I wish you could understand what it feels like to have a little boy tugging at your arm and asking, “Is Mommy okay?” Not even being able to look in his eyes without tears from your own and not knowing what to say. Or to have to hold back a long time friend who watches his buddy having rescue breathing done on him as they take him away in the ambulance. You know all along he did not have his seat belt on. A sensation that I have become too familiar with.

    Unless you have lived with this kind of life, you will never truly understand or appreciate who I am, we are, or what our job really means to us…

    I wish you could though.”


    1. sassy234 says:

      @Lt. Daniel Lewis THANK YOU. I for one appreciate each and every person who puts his/her life on the line to save others. Firefighters and EMS personnel are heroes to someone in need every single second of every day. All of you deserve our respect and gratitude for what you do.

  8. Lt Daniel Lewis says:

    @ Jaboa and @ Sassy234 – Thank you both for your support! Your support, appreciation, and understanding makes our, often difficult job and makes it just that much easier. Thank you!

  9. Angie says:

    I was at the mulch fire and have connections with the mulch business. I also have a lot of respect for firefighters and what they,do, as my father is a firefighter. However, I must say that firefiighters need to be better trained on how to fight a fire at a mulch yard. Firefighters want to open the piles to get to the flames and put them out, but when they do this the fire is able to get the oxygen it needs to burn and it causes the fire to spread by jumping to other piles or other things in the vicinity, especially when its windy. When a mulch pile catches fire, which is normally due to spontaneous combustion, the pile should be covered with more mulch and then doused with lots of water. This process smothers the fire and reduces the spreading of the fire to other areas.. Yes, it will smoke for awhile, but the fire will go out. It just takes time and plenty of water. I am by no means an expert, but I have had connections with other mulch yard fires and the process of covering the piles and dousing them with water, instead of opening them up, is the best way to get a mulch pile fire under control. As for the comment on the abandoned equipment….firefighters use a lot of equiptment. “Equiptment” does not just apply to the actual trucks. I did not hear anything about them having to abandon their trucks, but I did hear that a lot of fire hoses were burnt up. You have to remember that the news is going to do what they can to make their story interesting, so by using the word ‘equiptment’ they are being very vague, which allows their readers to jump to their own conclusions without knowing the actual facts.

  10. barnyard says:

    There are a certain percentage of the volunteer firefighter that are “Cowboys” & like to start the fires then smash & bust up stuff. I’m talking about you joe six pack who like Monster trucks barely got through high school & is mentally challenged.

  11. Great post however , I was wondering if you could write a litte more on this topic? I’d be very thankful if you could elaborate a little bit more. Kudos!

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