Fire at German American Festival destroys 4,000 pounds of potato salad

OREGON, OH (Toledo News Now) - A sad day for potato salad lovers. Another woe hit the German American Festival when this morning a cooler fire destroyed 4,000 pounds of potato salad, prepared for the big crowds expected this weekend.

Last week the GAF had to find a new meat supplier when they found out their regular supplier Tank's Meats of Elmore was shut down. And now a fire inside a unoccupied refrigeration trailer has destroyed eggs, pickles, and a ton of potato salad.

Oregon Police and Fire crews were on the scene after the fire broke out at Oak Shade Grove around 6 a.m.

A festival volunteer smelled smoke coming from the cooler Friday morning and called the fire department.  At one point flames were even seen coming out of the cooler.

Oregon Fire Department says the fire started at the front of the trailer but the cause of it is unknown. The fire has since been extinguished.

Festival Chairman Tim Pecsenye says despite the fire this morning people are making their way in as usual and the food lost has been replaced.

"We lost 6- 55 gallon drums of sour crout a bunch of eggs I don't know how many and a ton and a half of hand made potato salad," said Pecsenye.

Pecsenye says as soon as organizers determined how much they lost they had trucks on the road picking up replacements.

"We are slowly getting our stock back in," said Pecsenye. "No one ever expects anything like this."

At noon volunteers were out peeling potatos, making sure folks still get a chance to taste that authentic German potato salad.

Pecsenye says the bright side in the whole thing is that they didn't have meat products on sit yet. He says this could have been a blessing in disguise.

"This happened at a better time then it would have if it were during the festival," said Pecsenye. "So we're able to redo and all this will be all fresh product and made on site."

Lastly Pecsenye says everything is running as usual.

"People will have a good time and enjoy our fine food," said Pecsenye. "We have a band coming in from Palm City Florida. They're a Grammy award nominee and of course all of our food and beer."

The festival opens at 6 p.m. Friday and runs all weekend. General admission is $8.

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