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Garden Smallholding Blog

Blogging about growing fruit, vegetables and herbs and keeping chickens and ducks.
Tags >> Fire

How The Fence Caught Fire - we think!

Posted by: admin

Tagged in: Garden , Fire , Compost

Earlier this morning, I went for a walk with the dog, and got back just before 7am. Just afterwards I heard a knocking at my front door - it was our neighbour whose back garden backs onto ours. He was quite panicked and stated that our fence was on fire. My jaw dropped, we had not burnt anything in the garden since Saturday evening see Burning Garden Waste  and that fire was very sedate, and here I am on Tuesday morning being told that my fence is on fire.

I went running down the garden and the whole fence panel was ablaze, along with a chunk of one of the compost bins. I grabbed a hosepipe (sorry Southern Water, but I think firefighting is exempted from the hosepipe ban - try spending less on director remuneration and actually something on leak fixing and bans will not be required), Gem turned it on, and I spent several minutes dousing the flames, with the neighbours wife doing the same with their hosepipe.

The amount of heat generated was shocking, as was the damage caused. Looking at the potential causes, the only one worthy of any consideration was the bonfire on Saturday 14th April evening that was finished by about 9:30pm. The fire was contained in small stainless steel pit approximately a half a metre in diameter. The sickening thing was that there was no clue that an ember had somehow embedded itself at the back of the compost bin. We had worked in the garden on Sunday, putting things in the compost bin. On Monday, Gem had spent the entire afternoon cleaning up around the compost bins, and covering one of them up with spare bits of plywood, an old PVC garden table minus the legs, and weighing the whole thing down with a disused wheelbarrow. She finished at around 6pm in the evening on Monday after about four hours work, and I returned from work shortly afterwards and surveyed the work at around 6:30pm and it looked great. At no point could I smell anything burning. On the Tuesday morning, the morning of the fire, I could not smell anything when I left to walk the dog around 6:00am, nor when I returned around 6:45am. Yet, as soon as I entered the garden after the neighbour calling, I could smell the fire immediately.

A lesson has been learned - there is a six inch gap between the back of the compost bins and the fence panels. There were a few sheets of roofing polycarbonate and a couple of fence panels stuffed into this gap. We think an ember from our fire on Saturday somehow fell down there and was held against the wooden compost bin. If you look at the second image below, you can see where the fire originated - about halfway up the fence side of the compost bin.

This is the sight that greets as soon as you walk up into where the compost bins are:

Burnt out compost bin and fence panel

Below is the view from the neighbours garden;

Burnt out compost bin and fence panel viewed from neighbours garden

Burnt out compost bin and fence panel viewed from neighbours garden


Burning Garden Waste

Posted by: admin

Tagged in: Garden , Fire

Had a small fire this evening to burn some of the twigs and small logs accumulated in recent weeks from pruning etc.

Small bonfire in compost area of garden


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