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FDNY Blames Dry Weather For Composting Fire In Central Park

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- The FDNY responded quickly to a fire that began in a composting area on the east side of Central Park on Friday.

At one point, the flames from the 2-alarm fire were 20 feet in the air and encompassed tree limbs and trunks. Firefighters eventually were able to contain the flames, which were sparked around 2:30 p.m near 102nd Street and Fifth Avenue.

1010 WINS' Eileen Lehpamer Speaks With Fire Officials


The fire began in the compost area known as "The Mount," which is about 100 to 150 feet long.  The Central Park Conservancy collects and composts organic materials at the site, the Conservancy's Dena Libner said.

FDNY Battalion Chief Jim Ginty told 1010 WINS' Eileen Lehpamer he felt there was never a danger of the flames spreading off the compost pile.

"We were here pretty quick so I mean it was...we had the lines set up. We contained it pretty quickly," Ginty said.

As for the cause, Ginty said the dry weather was likely to blame.

"I think sometimes just with the heat, these piles of mulch and stuff like that, I think they can generate their own heat," he said.

Pedestrian paths in the area were cordoned off to protect visitors. There are no structures or densely wooded areas around the compost pile.

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(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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