Cigarettes cause three mulch fires on campus

Christian Hansen

Within a 13-hour time span on Wednesday, three mulch fires were reported at WKU — all caused by cigarettes. The Bowling Green Fire Department responded to each and extinguished the flames.

On Aug. 31, at 12:24 p.m., a mulch fire in front of Mass Media and Technology Hall was reported. Less than two hours later, at 2:11 p.m., there was a mulch fire behind the E.A. Diddle Statue in the North Diddle parking lot. Then at 3:02 a.m., Cpl. Justin Taylor noticed mulch smoldering near the front parking lot of South Campus.

All three fires were caused by cigarettes that weren’t extinguished properly and thrown into the mulch, said Bob Austin, fire marshall with the Western Kentucky University Department of Health and Safety.

“Most of the time these mulch fires start when somebody discards a cigarette in the mulch and it catches fire,” said Maj. Mike Wallace of the Western Kentucky University Police Department.