ANN ARBOR – Fluffy cottonwood seeds spread flames throughout an Ann Arbor neighborhood during a house fire last week.
Ann Arbor Battalion Fire Chief Matthew Hughes said he’s never seen anything like it in his nearly 30 years on the job.
Fire crews were called to Eden Court in the Bryant neighborhood Thursday (June 1) evening.
Once the structure fire was out, crews noticed flames popping up outside.
“We realized that there were fires in the backyard, and we didn’t understand why,” said Hughes.
The flames spread to the neighboring yards, catching toys, bushes, and grass on fire.
Fire officials realized the thick layer of cottonwood seeds on the ground caused the fire to spread to the three neighboring properties.
“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,” Hughes said.
Given the number of cottonwood seeds in the area and the ongoing dry spell, fire officials said it could have been much worse.
The cause of the house fire is still under investigation.
No injuries were reported.