GOSHEN TOWNSHIP, OH (FOX19) - The Goshen Township Fire Department is putting out a call to all lawn mower owners to check on their machines. The department has responded to three calls for lawn mower fires this summer, which the chief says is uncommon.
"We've had, what I would call, a rash of lawn mower fires and when I say a rash I would say three but in my 30-year career ... three in a short period of time is a rash," Fire Chief Steve Pegram said.
In all three cases the mowers caught on fire after they were turned off and parked. Pegram reports that all three mowers were older-model Cub Cadet riding mowers but it's believed the issue in all three cases was a lack of proper maintenance.
FOX19 contacted Cub Cadet about the issue and the company tells us they are looking into the matter and that safety is a top priority for them. They also encourage all owners to carefully review the manuals for their products when doing routine maintenance. Electronic copies of the manuals can also be found on their website.
There are no known recalls for any of the mower models that caught fire in Goshen Township. There have been recalls involving Cub Cadet mowers in the past, however.
"Some of the mowers that caught fire, I have the same model at my house. The fire department owns the same model lawn mower," Pegram said. "We haven't had any issues so I'm not sure it's specific to that brand or type of mower, I think it's probably a lack of maintenance issue."
In one incident, the mower was parked inside a resident's garage when it caught fire. That resident reportedly pulled the burning mower away from his home to prevent more damage.
Along with regular maintenance, the fire chief suggests parking mowers on the driveway and allowing time for the machines to cool down before storing them in a shed, garage or enclosed space.