Fire Destroys Mardi Gras Float

The Pass Christian Fire Department battled a blazing fire well into the afternoon with the help of the Harrison County Fire Service, CRTC and Mississippi Forest Service. News 25’s Kristen Durand tells us more about the fire that put a Mardi Gras float out of commission.
In the early morning hours, Roger Caplinger arrived at his business to see flames still burning in the lot next door. This was not what he expected when leaving the same scene the night before. “Most of the boom was already burnt up and the flames were incredible. They were 100 feet high in the air.”
A Mardi Gras float, which used to sit in the lot behind Gun Ho Shooting Range in Pass Christian, is now just a pile of dust. Thankfully, no one was injured in the blaze but firefighters spent most of Sunday night and Monday containing it. Pass Christian Fire Chief Dwight Gordon said, “By the time they got here, with the wind, it had blown into the containment boom pile that was behind it and at that point, the wind was whipping it and they just couldn’t keep up.”
At least one business owner says the fire isn’t the only concern in the area. “A couple of little kids that live in a housing complex in very close proximity, they’ve actually written graffiti all over the building and trailers and stuff. Actually, one of my guys caught them not too long ago, they were pouring gasoline and oil inside the warehouse,” said Caplinger.
Neither arson nor vandalism can be confirmed by authorities at this time. “Once we’re able to get it all cooled down then we’ll worry about investigating. There’s no rush on that at this point,” said Gordon.
Artist and owner of the Float Eric Schweinsberg says he’s not letting the setback rain on his parade. “The silver lining I keep coming up with is we can build a new float. The trailer is ruined, so we have to find a new trailer.”
The cause of the fire is still under investigation. If you have any information, call the Pass Christian Fire Department at 228-452-3323.

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