PRESTONSBURG – A small fire on a carnival ride at Jenny Wiley Festival sparked a lot of excitement on social media Thursday night, but Prestonsburg firefighters describe an issue blown out of proportion.
Social media outlets like Facebook were all a buzz locally Thursday night as tails of the carnival ride disaster spread. But firefighters say smoke and some initial panic probably exaggerated the situation.
Prestonsburg Assistant Fire Chief Chuck Davis said that the light ballast of a fluorescent light bulb on one of the carnival rides overheated, cracked, and sparked a small fire.
“The flame was about like a cigarette lighter,” said Davis. “It was a little tiny flame. It didn’t get on anybody or anything like that.”
With mostly young people at risk, any such situation is taken seriously.
Davis says that firefighters extinguished the flame and that the ride was closed for the rest of the evening. According to Davis, an electrical inspector arrived Friday morning and inspected the ride. It passed all inspections and was re-opened for that evening.
Social media has a way of creating sensation where there is none, but a brief story and stock photo depicting what appears to be a raging inferno on WYMT’s website may have lent credence to the grandeur of the rather small event.
Davis described the event as very minor, and that the inspector had given the ride a clean bill of health.
Jackson Latta can be reached at (606) 886-8506