WAXAHACHIE — Firefighters from at least six departments battled an afternoon fire on the Scarborough Renaissance Festival grounds that destroyed two buildings on Tuesday. First responders received the call at about 4 p.m. and responded to the 2500 block of Farm-to-Market Road 66.
“The fire occurred at the end of the Pecan Grove area of the festival, which is inside the festival area. It was contained to two buildings. They have both been totally destroyed,” said Helaine Thompson, Scarborough Renaissance Festival Director of Communications, at approximately 5 p.m. Tuesday. “The fire departments were on scene within minutes, and they were able to contain the fire. They do not know, at this point, what caused the fire. The Ellis County Fire Marshal is on site trying to make that determination.”
Thompson said Pecan Grove is located on the north end of the property and the two shops that were affected were Pen Dragon and Broom Stick — one is a dress and attire shop, while the other is a walking cane store.
No injuries were reported from the call. Both shops were empty at the time of the fire but were being prepped for festival’s April 8 opening.
“Pen Dragon Shop, where it is believed the fire started, had 30 feet of frontage across the front of it and was about 20 feet deep. It was two story structure,” Thompson said. “The other (shop) was a one-story structure and was about 20 feet across by 20 feet deep.”
Thompson said the fire is not going to hamper the opening of the festival.
“We will work with them to relocate them or figure out a way they can participate in the festival,” Thompson said.
Tuesday was not the first fire to occur on the fairgrounds. In 2011, Will Ross, 48, was killed in a fire on the property at approximately 10:30 p.m. on Aug. 22, 2011. The building, where the Daily Light previously reported Ross to be sleeping, was located on the back half of the property in a heavily-wooded area. A total of eight buildings were lost in the fire. The Daily Light also reported the festival grounds were the location of a grass fire in March 2014.
The 37th annual renaissance festival runs from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays April 8 – May 9 and Memorial Day May 30. It features 27 stages of entertainment and 200 artisans.
For more information about the festival go the website at www.SRFestival.com or contact festival staff at 972-938-3247.
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