Stubborn mulch fire sparked underground


Fire crews spent close to an hour and a half fighting an underground fire that erupted near the Valencia BMW car dealership on Auto Center Court early Friday morning.

Sparks and smoke were reported coming from an underground electrical system near the dealership at Valencia Boulevard shortly before 3 a.m.

“This was an electrical volt fire underground,” Inspector Joey Marron of the Los Angeles County Fire Department told The Signal Friday morning.

“The smoke comes up from underground through air vents, with puffs of smoke and sparks,” he said, comparing the occurrence to smoke coming out of a car exhaust pipe.

Sparks emitting from the underground system ignited mulch used as a replacement for grass on city medians.

“The volt fire came up through the vent and the fire ignited the mulch around it,” Marron said.

Firefighters from at least three SCV fire stations were dispatched at 2:56 a.m. Friday, with the first unit arriving at the site within three minutes.

Despite the swift response, fire crews continued fighting the fire for about an hour and 20 minutes.

“It took them a while to break apart the mulch and make sure there no embers,” Marron said.

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