‘Raining embers everywhere’ - High winds a factor in large Hammond Farms fire

‘Every dry mulch pile that it hit, it just immediately ignited it.’
The fire closed off M-99 at Waverly Road.
Published: Nov. 7, 2022 at 5:25 PM EST
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DIMONDALE, Mich. (WILX) - Hammond Farms Landscape Supply in Windsor Township saw a large fire Saturday night.

It wasn’t the first fire for Hammond Farms, but it was the largest. It took fire crews eight hours and 628,000 gallons to extinguish the blaze.

Store manager Lee Hammond said the fire did not start with spontaneous combustion.

“Up by our wood boiler system, we heat with wood here, through an outdoor system,” said Hammond. “The appearance is that between the wind and that unit somehow some embers came out and ignited the pile that is near there that we use to feed it with.”

Hammond said with the high winds gusting over 50 miles an hour caused the fire to spread quickly.

Related: High winds rip the roof off Cedar Place Assisted Living in Lansing

The Windsor Township Emergency Services were one of the 13 fire departments who arrived at the M-99 at Waverly Road location Saturday night.

Bill Fabijancic said the intense winds made their job twice as hard.

“It’s almost like it was raining for over 100-foot area of raining embers everywhere, so every dry mulch pile that it hit, it just immediately ignited it and causes another issue that we had to deal with,” said Fabijancic.

No one was hurt in the fire. Hammond Farms said its buildings, trucks and equipment were not damaged. It is still working to figure out its losses when it comes to the mulch, but Lee Hammond said it will not go to waste.

“We’re going to make sure that there are no hot embers in any of the stuff that we are moving, and we are composters, so we are not just going to dump the wood and let it go to waste it is going to go out in our composting facilities and get re purposed one way or another,” said Hammond.


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