Those fluffy cottonwood seeds you see in the summertime, sometimes making it appear as if it's snowing? Firefighters in Ann Arbor say they were to blame for helping spread fire throughout one Ann Arbor neighborhood.

What are the Details?

Firefighters in Ann Arbor were called to battle a housefire on Eden Court in the Bryant neighborhood around 5 pm on Thursday (6/1). The front of the house was on fire, and the flames had spread to the home's attic.

Thankfully, no one was injured in the incident and fire crews were able to extinguish the fire.

But then crews noticed something rather strange. The fire had spread and flames were popping up in neighbors' yards. Fires were popping up on three different nearby properties, burning grass, bushes, and toys on fire.

The cause of the spread was inexplicable at first, but then firefighters realized what had been happening.

The Culprit?

Firefighters soon realized that a thick layer of cottonwood seeds was blanketing the ground and had caused flames to spread to three other neighboring properties.

Matthew Hughes is the Ann Arbor Battalion Fire Chief. He tells Detroit's WDIV-TV that the fire's out-of-control nature initially baffled his crew.

“We realized that there were fires in the backyard, and we didn’t understand why,” Hughes said. “It was kind of overwhelming at one point trying to figure out what was causing this fire the way that it spread through the neighborhood.”

An extended period of dry weather contributed to the seeds' ability to spread the fire throughout the neighborhood.


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