Written by on October 12, 2022

Bonfires at homecoming football games have been a long time tradition. Usually there is a rally associated with it to start the game. It was made up of spare materials from constructing the homecoming floats and a collection of cardboard and wood from local sources. When I was kid the team used to run out before the game and as they ran by threw a dummy in the opposing team’s colors in it. It was always good fun! We used to collect walnuts and throw them into it as the fire burned down. At one point there was a bonfire at a Texas A&M that was well known for it’s large size and stacked lumber. Unfortunately, it collapsed in 1999 and 12 people were killed and 27 were injured. That, along with other stories of bonfire mishaps caused many schools to abandon them altogether. In Florida one school started doing one again about 7 years ago and didn’t have a problem. Until now. For some reason the bonfire, run and lit by the police department with the fire department on scene blew up instead of just lighting on fire. Of course it was caught on camera as everything is nowadays. My guess is that they do use some form of accelerant. They’ve never had a problem before, and this is the last time they will have one as the school and police department say they’re out of the bonfire business. It’s too bad because these are usually fun ways to bring communities together, but safety comes first.

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