Carbon Condition of 1996

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From jlh@suned1.Nswses.Navy.MIL Tue Sep 17 14:29:40 1996
Date: Tue, 17 Sep 1996 14:12:07 -0700
Message-Id: <199609172112.OAA19256@suned1.Nswses.Navy.MIL>
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Last revision of "Carbon Condition"

Northern Renaissance Pleasure Faire, September 15, 1996, Sunday night about eleven o'clock it was pitch black as I walked down the road past the Red Barrel stage with Julliette. We heard fire yelled down the road towards archery once, pause, we started jogging , then three times at the top of someone's lungs and I ran full speed towards Archery in the dark. As I got closer I saw Orange and yellow flames lighting the shire, it seemed Archery was on fire.

As I drew up to the Booth I could see the flames were at the Boars Head next door, in the kitchen and coming up through the roof, not five feet behind the spot I had slept the night before, and no farther than that to the crossbow range hay bales. The flames were licking greedily towards the oak branches above the boars back. Someone yelled


"We don't know!"

Someone else yelled they thought the fire was right by the propane tank. I thought I might die but I stayed. Julliette ran on for help. I ran for the fire extinguisher first. I had put a jacket on over my new drinking horn so I pushed it from me till it broke the cord. It clattered across the floor of the sightless abyss inside Archery as my hands skittered for the fire extinguisher I thought was by the doors privie side. It wasn't there, and I went for the hose. "We need a hose on this!" No shit sherlock I thought, "I'm working on it!" I yelled. The flames were much higher out of the roof and glowing inside and not a fire extinguisher yet. The hose wasn't by the faucet, please let it be behind crossbows. Yes it was there, I quickly found two hose ends and ran round the corner of the hay bales. I made it half way to the faucet till I bungeed backwards. I pulled hard hoping the hose would pull round or the corner hay bales break, fall, whatever. In the back of my mind was the thought of fire burning round a propane tank, I wonder how long it could take it, its been about a minute since I heard "Fire, Fire, Fire!". I ran back to bring out the tangled mess of hose and carry it round the hay bales. As I was running to connect the hose, again I heard "WE NEED A HOSE! Is the gas off!" from the crossbow range. "I almost got it, there, find the end." "I don't hear it, unkink it!" I ran over and checked for kinks, there were none, the hose was only filling it double length. Fire extinguishers FINALLY went off in the booth. Moments later my hose man doused the roof.

I ran round to the entrance to go inside to help, a garden hose was coming from across the road at this point. I could see by the orange coal glow through the smoke inside the booth. Fire extinguishers had stopped the bulk of the flame but could not finish the job. Inside One of the Boars was hooking up a hose. I grabbed the other end to be ready as it came on. "Its hot water he warned." As I felt the water and moved in on the cherry red back room the water was warm not hot. The gas must be off I thought. The high hiss of water off a fire hot skillet and dying coals was a relief. I could not seem to douse it all through the hole the fire had burned in the wall. I went round to the front of the little storeroom where boxes of unknown firepower smoldered hissed and burned. I went into the room and got in close spraying the hissing dying dragon of a fire. It was not dead yet. Smoke was rapidly filling the Boars Head. It was already twice as thick as when I had entered and much more than that in the little store room. I ducked out took a deep breath a couple inches by the floor. I went in again, and again. Still the smoke thickened. I held the door open a second to get a cleaner breath of air.

Then I saw it, the spit of the Dragon, A little tongue of spitting hissing goo dropping straight down from the mass of boxes. "It's a plastic fire I yelled," and I knew exactly where it was living. "The fires toxic breath by the floor." "We need the hose outside to stop and get this thing organized!" someone (booth owner I suspect) yelled. "The fire was burning the roof, and this fires not out yet, lets keep the hose till were sure." "Here someone man this hose I'm going to root out the plastic fire!" I grabbed a big grill brush and knocked down the big pan that had hissed at my water earlier and saw the fires near living orange glow still going in the hive of boxes behind it. "Give me the hose for a second!" It hissed again at me and the orange glow stopped but the smoke still seemed to be generating. I gave back the hose yelling "I'm going to knock down the boxes so you can douse them." I stabbed through with several jabs till all of the smoldering boxes had been knocked to the floor inside. "Fire seems out I'm getting out of here." "You've done enough, get yourself out of here." I went out the back and realized I didn't know how or if I could get out that way. I went back in "Don't know how to get out that way!" (Lame huh), and went out the front.

Security was just showing up. "Is the fire under control, do we need the fire department?" "We think we have the fire out but if it were me I'd call them in to be sure." With that security went in to the Boars. They did call the fire department then, who showed up over the next 10-15 minutes. I wandered off at that point. The adrenaline wore off slowly as I wandered around looking for Julliette. I went to the two places she was most likely to be and told the people there to tell her I was OK if they saw her. The cookie cutter lady remembered someone coming by that fit my description to the limit of her eyesight and hearing. The fire department was verifying everything was secure. I had taken in some smoke and coughed several times, still smelling the sick sweet of a plastic fire. I did not want to sleep in the archery "cave" where I wouldn't know if the fire restarted (fire department or no fire department), so I slept on the couch at pistol bows where I might see flames if anything went wrong. I slept a long time if somewhat lightly. As I started out to hike my gear out I saw Terry, the owner of the Boars head. "I'm one of the guys who helped put out your fire, did they find you last night." "Yeah, they thought a leaking gas line started the fire." His face was mighty long. I wished him luck as best I could. The damage seemed much less than it could have been due to the quick response of the "Renaissance Pleasure Faire Volunteer Fire Department". I don't know who all the others were but I thank you all. We saved almost all of the Boars Head, and a good portion of the Faire as well.

I feel as though I learned a few things from this experience:

Let's all stay safe.

James Hodgson, the "Yellow Man" of Archery!

P.S. It's kind of rough still, but If anyone could get this to someone at the Workhorse I'd like to give them a copy of my true story. Thanks to all, anon. Costumes Acting Language RPFI History
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