Could have been prevented
The recent fire at a Wilmington apartment building on September 10 could have been avoided with simple precautions, says the Wilmington Fire Department. The fire caused considerable damage to six units and displaced several tenants at the apartment building, located at 5002 McClelland Drive.
The fire appears to have started when a cigarette or some other type of smoking material was thrown into landscaping mulch surrounding the building. Landscaping material such as mulch or pine straw is highly combustible, especially as the dry, hot weather continues.
According to WFD Assistant Fire Chief Frank Blackley, combustible landscaping materials are a threat to apartment buildings throughout the City. “Citizens need to use extreme caution when discarding their smoking materials such as cigarettes,” said Blackley. “Proper disposal should be a priority.” Apartment buildings pose a higher risk because of the number of units and tenants in a building. Blackley said the department has responded to 11 of these types of fires at apartment buildings since 2000.
Blackley points out that another way to prevent these types of fires is to use non-combustible material such as rock or stone for landscaping.