Smoking fudge prompts alarm at State Fair

By The News staff

It may go into the annals of the Kansas State Fair as the case of the smoldering pot of fudge.

Hutchinson firefighters were dispatched to the Meadowlark Building about 6 a.m. Saturday on a smoke alarm.

There, crews found a fudge pot in a vendor's booth had been left on overnight, and a flame retardant cover over the pot ignited. The cloth didn’t burst into flame but smoldered and filled the entire building with dense smoke.

Fire crews had the building cleared of smoke by 6:45 a.m., Fair Manager Bryan Schulz advised the state fair board Saturday morning, but it was unclear how much smoke damage to merchandise in the building may have occurred.

The smoke did not trigger the building's fire sprinkler system.

All the vendors in the building were immediately contacted and advised of what happened, Schulz said, so they could assess any damage before opening for the day.

Another vendor selling air purifiers offered to place its machines around the building to help remove any lingering odors if the fair agreed to replace its filters, the manager said.

“We’ll deal with it on the insurance side as we go,” Schulz said.