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Fire Marshal: 'MW Horticulture failed inspection stop-work order continues'

A re-inspection has been scheduled for one week from today.
MW Horticulture
Posted at 6:48 AM, May 04, 2022

FORT MYERS, Fla. — SCPFD Fire Marshal Steve Lennon says MW Horticulture failed an inspection this morning and the stop-work order continues.

This is the recycling plan where two mulch fires burned for days last month and filled the air with smoke for more than a week.

The San Carlos Park Fire Department says the owners mismanaged the mulch there and that is how the fire started.

Fire investigators issued a stop-work notice days before the second fire started.

The stop-work order will continue until the site is brought into fire code compliance and there is no active smoldering on the site.

So far, the San Carlos Park Fire officials have said they have billed MW Horticulture for eight separate invoices–totaling over $42,000 to cover the expenses for their services.

On social media, the recycling plant has said they felt like there is a lot of misinformation and misunderstanding about the fires.

So I brought that concern to San Carlos Park Fire Education Specialist, Alexis McLellan.

"We conduct annual inspections of every property of San Carlos Park Fire District so every business received an annual inspection from us, every business does need to come into compliance with fire codes we would never target or single out any business within our district,” said McLellan.

A re-inspection has been scheduled for one week from today, and will continue to happen weekly until the recycling plant is in compliance with fire codes.

I asked McLellan if there has been enough time since the two fires for MW Horticulture to correct their code problems.

"Obviously when we went there at the beginning of April for the original fire that spurred this stop-work order being put into place they were far out of compliance with the code and had a lot of work to do. So what is able to get done by their staff I can't speak to that," said McLellan.

The stop-work order prevents additional material from being brought in, but they can work on what is currently on the property.

MW Horticulture is challenging the investigation findings.