A holiday parade was ruined when a float suddenly burst into flames at the Oceanfront in Virginia Beach, Virginia (VA). The incident occurred at the 1900 block of Atlantic Avenue, near 19th street.
A generator was reportedly in the back of a pick up truck underneath a wooden box when the generator suddenly caught fire. The generator was being used for electrical power to the float, according to WAVY.com.
Fortunately, no one was seriously burned as a result of this fire. As luck would have it, firefighters were participants in the parade and were able to put the fire out quickly before it spread.
Here is a news report on the Virginia Beach parade float fire:
Even though burns were not reported, there were three Kellam High School students who reported breathing problems due to smoke inhalation. Two of them had to be taken to a local hospital for treatment.
So what is the takeaway from this awful incident? First and foremost, proper safety precautions must be taken when utilizing a generator for any activity. The video (see above) shows the generator placed on the back of a truck without any reasonable seperation from the parade float. Second, using a pickup truck to both pull a parade float and as a platform for a generator is irresponsible and created the safety hazard. Owners of pickup trucks must be cautious in how they use the bed of their truck.
If the firefighters had not arrived at the scene so quicly, this incident could have been much worse.