Firefighters Respond to Fire Near UA Campus

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Firefighters responded to a fire near the University of Arkansas campus Friday morning.

The machine shop on Cassatt Street near Garland Avenue caught fire before 6:30 a.m., officials said.

Crews responding said a pallet of biochar inside the building caught fire.

No one was inside the building at the time and it took firefighters about 30 minutes to put out the flames, said Vaughn Skinner, the Resident Director for the Arkansas Agricultural Research and Extension Center.

Vaughn said they have used biochar for several years and they have never had an issue before.

“This morning, one of the people that works for me noticed that the shop was full of smoke, said Vaughn. “They called the fire department and they came out and discovered that a bag of soil amendment, called biochar, was on fire in the back of the shop. So they came in and put it outside and put it out.”

There was not extensive damage to the building, but Vaughn said the flames damaged a pallet estimated to be worth $3,000.

Firefighters remained on scene Friday Morning working to air out smoke from the building interior.

Vaughn said biochar is a fertilizer like substance comparable to charcoal.

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