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Posted on August 23, 2011 at 3:25 AM
Updated today at 9:44 AM
ELLIS COUNTY — One person was killed and seven buildings destroyed at the Scarborough Renaissance Festival property near Waxahachie Monday night.
Officials said the fire broke out before 11 o'clock in an employee area near a souvenir shop at the property southwest of Waxahachie.
Seven festival employees live in wooden buildings on the fair grounds. The man who died, a groundskeeper, lived in one of those buildings. Authorities have not released his name.
"It took a while to get the fire cooled down enough to be able to go in to do any searching," said Lt. James Saulter, Ellis County Sheriff's Office. "Once they got it down, it took them about five minutes before they located the victim who was inside."
The fire occurred in a part of the festival site that is out of public view.
Six local fire agencies, including Waxahachie and Maypearl, joined to battle the blaze. The state fire marshal will determine the cause.
The Scarborough Renaissance Festival was established in 1981 on a 35 acre site near Waxahachie. It attracts 200, 000 people a year. The festival runs for eight weekends each spring, according to its Web site. The property is also open each fall as a Halloween theme park.
"Fortunately, we don't have to do Scarborough Renaissance Festival until next April. We should have all these buildings replaced by then," said Orvis Melvin, Scarborough sales director .