Charlotte MacAulay- Our space

The devastation that comes from losing a home or other building to fire is immeasurable for many.

When the cause is something that can be avoided in future,people need to take heed.

This is the case with the fires in PEI caused by the ignition of black mulch.

August 2 marked the first anniversary of the Montague Town Hall blaze which ended in the entire building eventually being torn down.

The cause of that fire was mulch in the flower bed igniting from what the Fire Marshal’s office said was most likely a cigarette.

A tragic misstep by the smoker, if in fact that was the cause.

The two latest major fires on PEI -- an apartment building in Charlottetown and a hotel in Brackley Beach last month, also involved mulch.

But it is not a simple as a stray butt starting the fire.

Now experts are saying mulch could be ignited by a piece of glass harnessing the sun’s rays.

There is also anecdotal evidence of at least one fire outside an apartment building in Charlottetown where mulch was afire with no obvious ignition trigger in sight.

Unsettling indeed.

Black mulch may soon lose it’s popularity in the landscaping world.

Whether it disappears completely from the market place or is revamped to be less ‘combustible’ something has got to give.

Better safe than sorry.

Charlotte MacAulay

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