By Gale Rose
Fresh hot popcorn took on a whole new meaning Sunday night when the popcorn popper at the Barron Theatre caught fire about a half hour before show time.
The heating unit on the bottom of the antique popper overheated producing smoke and flames. Theatre employees reacted quickly calling the fire department and using hand extinguishers to get the fire out.
When firefighters arrived, the lobby was filled with a light haze from the fire. The popper and the area immediately above the popper suffered some fire damage but overall, damage was very minor, said Pratt Fire Chief David Kramer.
Fans were used to clear the smoke from the building.
Hayden May was in the building when the popper caught fire. He inhaled some of the fumes from the extinguishers. An ambulance was called and he was examined. His exposure was very minor and he was not transported to Pratt Regional Medical Center.
Theatre co-owner Tim Barker said the Barron would be closed until the popper was repaired.