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Police & Fire

State Police: Broken Light Fixture On Ferris Wheel Led To Stratford Rescue

Stratford firefighters rescue two riders from the Ferris wheel after it stalled Wednesday night at the Rotary Club Carnival. Photo Credit: Stratford Professional Firefighters IAFF 998/Facebook
State Troopers with the Fire & Explosion Investigation Unit inspect carnival rides at the Danbury Fair Mall last month. This is one duty for the State Police unit. Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police
Stratford firefighters practice making a rescue from a Ferris wheel in May 2014. That training came in handy Wednesday night when the Ferris wheel stalled at the same carnival. Photo Credit: Stratford Professional Firefighters IAFF 998/Facebook

STRATFORD, Conn. — State Police blamed a broken light fixture for sparking an incident at a Stratford carnival that forced the fire department to come to the rescue of two kids on a Ferris wheel Wednesday night.

State Police detectives from the Fire and Explosion Investigative Unit determined that a light fixture became dislodged while the Ferris wheel was in motion shortly after 9 p.m. Wednesday.

The light fixture became dislodged and wedged between two seats on the Ferris wheel, prevented the two seats from properly swiveling, State Police said.

Upon hearing the light fixture fall, the ride operator immediately stopped the Ferris wheel and contacted the Stratford Fire Department, state police. Two children, who were occupying a different seat, were on the Ferris wheel when it was stopped.

The light fixture that fell doesn’t have anything to do with the operation of the ride, but the operator stopped it for safety, state police said. 

Members of the Stratford Fire Department used an aerial bucket to get the kids, who were 25 feet off the ground, from the Ferris wheel, state police said. 

The children, who were not injured, walked onto the fire truck bucket under their own power, state police said. 

"Just one of the many incidents, we utilize the height and reach of Truck 1's aerial device for," Stratford Professional Firefighters IAFF 998 said in a Facebook post.

The Ferris wheel was closed for the night and taken out of service.

On Thursday morning, State Police detectives from FEIU responded to the scene and initiated an investigation. Detectives determined that the incident was not due to mechanical failure, just equipment failure of the light fixture itself. 

Detectives, who continue to investigate, will conduct a ride safety inspection before placing the Ferris wheel back into service.

The Stratford Rotary Club's carnival, operated by Coleman Brothers Shows, is set up in the parking lot of Stratford Square at 411 Barnum Avenue Cutoff and continues through June 5. Check the website for hours.

The Stratford firefighters train for just such an emergency. They practiced setting up the ladder at the Ferris wheel at the same carnival two years ago, according to a Facebook post. (See the third photo above.)

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