2008-01-05 / News

Fire destroys two Sweet Corn Festival booths

By Charles Prince and Scott Rawdon

Everything is charred in the Buckeye Lake Youth Association's Sweet Corn Festival waffle house. Below, very little is left of the Millersport Cheerleaders booth where the firewas started. Firefighterswere able to save the Millersport Seniors booth in the background. Everything is charred in the Buckeye Lake Youth Association's Sweet Corn Festival waffle house. Below, very little is left of the Millersport Cheerleaders booth where the firewas started. Firefighterswere able to save the Millersport Seniors booth in the background. MILLERSPORT- A fast moving fireDecember 26 destroyed two Sweet Corn Festival booths at Historic Lions Park.

The Millersport Fire Department was dispatched at 11:05 p.m. with the first truck arriving on the scene at 11:12 p.m. The firewas quickly brought under control, but the damage had been done.

Fire Chief Bill Yates said the fire started in the Millersport Cheerleaders booth. That fire quickly extended into the eaves of the adjacent Buckeye Lake Youth Association's Waffle House booth.

Yates said arson is suspected since the firespread so quickly and utilities were not on in either building. A neighbor reported seeing two to three youths leaving the area. Investigators from the State Fire Marshal's Officeand the Fairfield County Sheriff's Officewere on the scene the next morning.

Beacon photos by Charles Prince. Beacon photos by Charles Prince. Firefigherswere able to keep the fire from spreading to the Millersport Seniors booth which is just to the east of the cheerleaders. Yates was thankful that there was little wind that night. Otherwise several other booths could have been lost.

Anyone with any information about the fireshould call the Millersport Fire Department at 467-2646.

"It's gone," said youth association member George Braden, who added there's no hope of saving what's left of the booth. It's a total loss, including all kitchen equipment and tables, which were stored within the booth during winter. Braden said contents were insured and an inspector has surveyed the damage, although Braden's not certain of how much of the loss will be covered.

Braden expects the booth will rebuild the booth in time for this summer's Sweet Corn Festival.

Just a few posts are left standing in the cheerleaders booth. They sold foot-long hot dogs and carmel and candy apples.

Sales during the annual fourday Sweet Corn Festival account for a majority of both organizations' income. The booths are owned by the Millersport Lions Club with the equipment owned by the organizations.

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