Couches, mattresses burn in East Lansing after Michigan State's big win

East Lansing — Couch burning began on the streets of East Lansing just a few minutes after Michigan State's big victory Saturday over rival Michigan as the city's fire department confirmed over 20 fires as of 5:55 p.m. and a video showed a car being flipped over.

People posed with burning couches, either for selfies or photos taken by friends. Cars passing one burn site had to maneuver around the couch and sometimes the co-eds themselves.

The incidents are not expected to cause any harm to the public, according to the East Lansing Fire Department, with fans setting fire to discarded mattresses and couches that would otherwise be trash. 

"The only harm in this is stoppages on the streets," a department official who declined to be identified said Saturday afternoon. 

A couch burns in an East Lansing street a few minutes after the Michigan State win.

Firefighters responded to fires in the Cedar Village Apartments area near Bogue and East Grand Village Street, near student and residential homes like Oakhill and the Abbott, and on Stoddard Avenue and Gunson Street, among others. 

At the corner of Harrison and Michigan Avenue, thick black smoke could be seen from blocks away. Some people, including Jaquan Kincaid, 19, briefly joined a chant against Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh as the couch burned.

"They think they’re better,” Kincaid said. “But they’re not. They’ve never even been to the playoffs.”

Michigan State has played in one national playoff game but UM hasn't played in any since the College Football Playoff National Championship began in 2014.

Another fire was at Center and Elm. 

Multiple Spartan fans said a couch likely would’ve burned whether the team won or lost.

“Just college kids having fun,” Kincaid said.

One Spartan fan, noticing the concern on the faces of people looking on, said: “Oh don’t worry. That’s just a couch they’re burning.”

Minutes later, an East Lansing Fire Department vehicle headed toward the blaze. 

A couch burns in an East Lansing street a few minutes after the Michigan State win.

By 8:20 p.m., areas where the East Lansing Fire Department had reported fires had no new fires. The department also confirmed it no new activity to report.

jdickson@detroitnews.com

halbarghouthi@detroitnews.com