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Spontaneous combustion of mulch, wind blamed in Clayton house fire

UPDATE @ 10:50 p.m.: A spontaneous combustion of mulch and high winds are being blamed for Friday afternoon's Clayton house fire on North Main Street that burned a hole in the roof. 

"If you leave mulch a long time in the sun with the moisture, if you don't turn it over every year...and mix it all up so it can get some air, then it starts from underneath and burns the wood," Clayton Battalion Chief Michael Seagraves said. 

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Normally, this type of fire that is fed by mulch is not much of a damaging fire, he said, but the fire got into the structure because of the wind.

The winds carried the flames onto the porch and into the house, Seagraves said. 

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"You get the wind like this, it's blowing in especially if they got the windows open," he said. 

Marshall Gorby/Staff

Crews were dispatched about 1:45 p.m. to the 600 block of North Main Street and reported heavy smoke coming from the house. 

The Miami Valley was under what the National Weather Service called an "enhanced fire danger risk" until 6:15 p.m. because of the high winds. 

Seagraves estimated the damage to the structure and contents at $30,000 to $40,000. 

No injuries were reported.

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