Forum home The potting shed

Beware combustible compost

Yesterday morning about 9am my neighbours had to put out a fire that reduced my metal and plastic greenhouse to a melted heap.

The only items in the greenhouse were cuttings and a few pots of compost that had dried out with no plants in them.

Thanks to the quick actions of next door I only lost the greenhouse, neddless to say i will not be leaving pots of compost to dehydrate again!



  • sotongeoffsotongeoff Posts: 9,802

    Sorry to hear this but could you elaborate as I have never heard of this before-how do you know that the compost was responsible?

  • There was nothing else in the greenhouse, only some pots of Pelegonium cuttings and the pots of compost that had dehydrated. Nothing glass or pesticides or such, The heat from the last few days concentated on the compost must have caused this fire.

  • sotongeoffsotongeoff Posts: 9,802

    That just doesn't sound likely -were the Fire Brigade called?-this happened at 9am on a Sunday morning?

    I am not saying you are wrong but would like to know more

  • No, The next door neighbours used their hose to put out the fire before it did too much damage.IMy family and I had gone out and returned when our neighbours phoned to say there had been a fire!  If i'm wrong it will remain a mystery, but this is the only logical answer to what happened. It was very hot and sunny here on saturday and also yesterday.

  • sotongeoffsotongeoff Posts: 9,802

    But this happened on a Sunday morning-I think you may have made a huge assumption here-my first thought would be vandalismimage


  • No,  Why is it so impossible that a fire can happen on a sunday morning ? This was not an act of vandalism, Our garden is not accessible to anyone as it has high wall at bottom and hedges / shrubs all around. The neighbours had noticed the fire from their balcony and had found a gap in the hedge to get through. 

  • sotongeoffsotongeoff Posts: 9,802

    Because surely it would have been cooler then-you are talking about compost that spontaneously combusted-but have no evidence to support this and have posted this as a warning to others-there could just be another reason.

  • PalaisglidePalaisglide Posts: 3,414

    Strange indeed, if it had peat in it you would have got possibly smouldering, in the days we could burn garden rubbish I would damp it down with old compost, that killed any miscreants and we used it again but I never knew it to blaze.
    We can take it there were no electrics in the GH, was the plastic the double glaze type, plastic does gas off under heat although it was nine on a Sunday morning the sun would be low in the sky and not up to full heat.
    I would be asking how near to a road or field where vandals could strike, was there a smell of petrol or other oils, also ask the neighbours if they saw any one watching, arsonists like to watch what they started.


  • There possibly could be a number of reasons, this was only a suggestion,  as there doesn't seem to be a more logical answer. Yes, This can be treated as a warning to others. There are other incidences of this sort of thing happening if you look on internet searches, so it is not a one off phenomenon. Why be so harsh on me, Don't shoot the messenger!


  • Gary HobsonGary Hobson Posts: 1,892

    I must say that I'm sceptical and have never encountered anything like that myself.

    But the poster is correct in saying that this can happen in principle:

Sign In or Register to comment.