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MW Horticulture billed $152K for April fire

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Posted at 12:07 PM, May 20, 2022

SAN CARLOS PARK, Fla. — While MW Horticulture awaits the results of Thursday's latest inspection, to ensure they are in compliance with local fire codes that will allow the plant to operate normally, local fire officials have tallied the bill for their services.

San Carlos Park Fire & Rescue sent company leaders an invoice for $152,514.40. The invoice, fire officials said, outlines "charges for staff and apparatus utilized during the operational period" for their 10-day watch over a mulch pile fire that sparked in early April.

A breakdown of the services rendered includes:

  • 2,036 man-hours of work at a cost of $34 per hour ($69,224)
  • 840 hours of pump operations at $80 per hour ($67,200)
  • 315 hours of non-pumping equipment operation at $30 per hour ($9,450)
  • $6,640.40 in fuel costs and charges while on-site

The fire was so deep within the mulch pile, firefighters said, it was decided to let the fire burn itself out, causing weeks of smoke from the smolder to continue to rise.

An estimated 8-million gallons of water were used during the initial 10-day battle.

A stop-work order remains in place at MW Horticulture until they are found in compliance with fire ordinances. Thursday's inspection results were due Friday, but as of noon, the findings were still under review by the fire chief.