Fire engulfs Wilmington mulch facility

A fire at a mulch facility near the Port of Wilmington continues to burn Monday, spreading thick smoke into the air.

3pm update: The fire has now impacted operations at the port.  Cargo operations were suspended for the ships unloading Dole and Chicaquita products at the port.  Truck loading operations were also suspended at all of the refrigerated warehouses under port control. 

Fire details

The blaze broke out Easter Sunday afternoon at a site on Christiana Avenue occupied by Port Contractors.  Firefighters discovered several large piles of mulch, pallets and other debris on fire.  Flames were being fanned by strong, gusty winds.  Firefighters connected their equipment to the nearby Christina River to draw water to attack the fire. 

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Front-end loaders were also brought to the scene to break up the piles where possible and put out the fires. 

One firefighter suffered an injury which was not life-threatening, and was treated at a local hospital and released. 

Christiana Avenue remains closed to traffic, but nearby I-495 has stayed open.  As of midday Monday, the fire has yet to be placed under control, and the cause is still under investigation.

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