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My First Thought Was BULL!

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My First Thought Was BULL! Empty My First Thought Was BULL!

Post  WardinWake on 9/2/2010, 10:53 pm

Howdy Folks:

Little Rock, Ark,....A fire that did $20,000 in damages to a northeast Arkansas home wasn't caused by an electrical problem or burning food or arson, an insurance investigator concluded.

Instead, the dead plants did it, according to a report summary provided to the homeowner, Brian Duncan.

"The fire was caused by self-heating through decomposition of organic materials contained within a plastic flowerpot," the Aug. 25 letter from State Farm Insurance Co. said. Or, in layman's terms, spontaneous combustion.

Duncan, whose home is a few miles south of Paragould, said the flowerpot had contained dead, decomposing flowers and potting soil that his wife had planted in the summer of 2009.

"She had intended on repotting (the flowers)," Duncan said. He said it was clear where the July 25 fire had begun, because the burning flowerpot and plants charred a hole in the porch and they fell to the ground several feet below.

-Associated Press.

The more I think about it the more I say "BULL SHIRT".

God Bless, Ward and Mary.
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Post  Megan on 9/2/2010, 11:06 pm

My first thought is, a cigarette butt got in there.
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Post  boffer on 9/2/2010, 11:31 pm

@Megan wrote:My first thought is, a cigarette butt got in there.

good idea...

Insurance investigator???
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Post  Old Hippie on 9/3/2010, 12:15 am

@Megan wrote:My first thought is, a cigarette butt got in there.

That sounds more like it. Obviously, that adjuster knew absolutely nothing about composting.
There is absolutely no way a pot of composting plants would generate
that much heat. It is all you can do to get a compost pile to heat up
to over 40C. and it has to be damp to do it, not dry as a tinder box.

GK
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Post  chocolatepop on 9/3/2010, 12:38 am

Hey, at least I admitted mine was a heat lamp!
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Post  Megan on 9/3/2010, 7:03 am

To be fair, I HAVE seen, myself, really big compost heaps smouldering. Both compost and also piles of stuff like wood mulch. But they have to be huge....truck size. And damp. (Which seems a little counter-intuitive, but it is true.) Compost in a bucket just can't do that.
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Post  Dietryin on 9/3/2010, 1:15 pm

Bull!
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Post  Megan on 9/3/2010, 4:48 pm

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Post  herbarium on 9/3/2010, 6:00 pm

Peat moss (which most potting soils contain) can catch fire but is believed to usually be caused by cigarettes placed in potted plants. http://www.flagsafe.ufl.edu/snn/snn-09-05.html#F6
In the cases I have heard of that is what happened. Once at work a peat moss bale was smouldering and a cigarette butt was found as the cause.
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Post  Megan on 9/3/2010, 6:10 pm

I completely agree that in most cases there is another cause and usually it's a cig butt. The smouldering stuff I saw was in truly huge amounts and not-much disturbed, just as the link I posted was described.
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Post  acara on 1/4/2011, 7:50 pm

ciggy ....

Unless they water their plants with oil Laughing
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Post  ander217 on 1/4/2011, 7:54 pm

Sorry, I didn't realize the story had already been posted. I deleted my post about it. But I'm convinced it was true. I watched the news story and saw the interview with the fire marshal and saw the letter from the insurance company which stated that the cause was spontaneous combustion.

The important factors seemed to be that the container was a large, plastic pot, and the direct sun was hitting it on an extremely hot day. Apparently chemicals built up which were combustible. I don't think it was the same type of heat generated in a damp compost pile.
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Post  Lavender Debs on 1/4/2011, 9:39 pm

No, no, nobull, A little breeze, two dead sticks rub together....
Ok, maybe bull.

Deborah .....who wonders if there is such a thing as high oil content flowers.
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Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 1/4/2011, 11:48 pm

I am not experienced enough to say bull or cow. But, I can tell you I was amazed one day at the Ballwin Public Works Dept applying mulch to the medians in the middle of Manchester Rd (major byway in STL) and watching it smolder as it came out of the truck. They blew it off as "fog" since the day was cool and damp.

15 minutes later the fire dept came in to hose things down because flames erupted and caught the Burning Bushes that had recently gone dormant. I wouldn't have believed the story had I not been watching from across the street at my QT counter with nothing but time on my hands. And, I kept saying to myself.....BULL!

Just sayin'
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