ST. CLOUD - The St. Cloud Fire Department responded to a deck fire on Saturday afternoon at about 3:45 p.m. at 1074 Voyager street. The cause of the fire was a pot of deck plants.

Quick acting neighbors were able to put the fire out, before the flames got to the roof. Neighbors noticed the fire on the exterior of the vinyl siding and acted quickly to alert the occupant who was inside with small children and unaware of the fire.

Two fire extinguishers and a garden hose were used to put out the fire and kept the damage on the outside of the house.

Potting soil can contain peat moss as well as fertilizers that actually can act as oxidizers and speed up the burning process.

Dry peat in potting soil can self-heat and ignite on its own just like a hay bale but usually the scenario is that the planter containing the dry potting soil was used as an ashtray and peat can smolder for days and burst into an open flame when the outside temperature goes up on hot days.

The fire danger is usually associated with dead plants that have been left dry since the previous growing season.

The fire marshal reminds you to move all old planters away from your homes and garages and dispose of the potting soil if it is not regularly being watered  and cared for.

St. Cloud Fire Marshal