Groundskeeper Dead After Scarborough Faire Fire
WAXAHACHIE (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – A fire at the site of the springtime Scarborough Renaissance Faire in Waxahachie has left one person dead and two firefighters injured. The incident happened at about 10:00 p.m. on Monday night.
Several people live on the festival site’s property. The fire started in a building where one of the groundskeepers was staying. When firefighters arrived on the scene, they tried to locate all of those workers, but the groundskeeper could not be found.
According to the Ellis County Sheriff’s Office, it took about 40 firefighters four hours to put out the blaze, which ultimately burned seven structures. The missing groundskeeper was located in one of those structures as crews tried to extinguish the flames. He could not be saved. “It took a while to get the fire cooled down enough to even be able to go in and do any searching,” explained Lt. James Saulter. “Once they got it to that point, it didn’t take but five minutes before we located him.”
The identity of the victim has not yet been released, and the official cause of the fire is still under investigation.
In addition to the groundskeeper who died, two firefighters were transported to a nearby hospital, one for heat exhaustion and the other for high blood pressure.
“I actually live on-site. The fire was not close to me,” said festival spokesman Orvis Melvin after the flames were extinguished. “But still, there’s a fire at the Renaissance Village with a lot of wooden buildings, and so you get a little scared.”
Despite the injuries, the fire did not threaten most of the festival site. Melvin said that the 2012 Scarborough Renaissance Faire – currently scheduled for April 7 through May 28 of next year – will go on as planned.