Transcript for Witnesses Describe Hot Air Balloon Fire
us this morning. This scene was witnessed by a crowd of people who had come out for what they thought was going to be a fun event, on a warm, spring evening. Just moments ago, I spoke to Amanda Patterson and Ricky birch, who were right there. Thank you very much for returning to the scene to talk to us this morning. Amanda, let me start with you. How close were you? And what did you see? We were at some of the vendors at the meadow event park, when we got wind of what was going on. We saw some people that were part of the E.M.S. Team, reacting. And with their -- on their walkie-talkies. When we saw that, that's when we noticed the balloon up in the sky. It was a fair distance away. All we saw at the time was the balloon and some smoke. So, I believe whatever happened had already occurred when we got wind of what happened. And, Ricky, what happened next? How close were you able to get? The balloon was still over the meadows event part. The drift a mile away from the park. You could physically see smoke and fire coming from the balloon in the sky, which was very, very hard to see when you're on the ground. It was a very helpless feeling. Do you have a sense, Ricky, from seeing what you saw, that it was survivable? I didn't see the initial event that caused the fire. When the balloon was up in the air and on fire, from where it was, it looked like it was going to be the worst case scenario. And to be clear, you could see it going down? It was on fire. It was drifting up and away. It wasn't going down at that time. You could see the smoke rise up through the air. And you could see the balloon drifting up in the air. I think the fire caused the balloon, possibly, to ascend, because the heat makes the balloon go up. This was an evening for people and families to come out and joy themselves in the spring in the area of Richmond. And I would imagine it was a huge shock to see something like this. Could you describe the atmosphere afterwards? We got here. And all of the balloons were taking off when we got here. It was a great, relaxed atmosphe atmosphere. Everyone was having fun. And you could just feel the mood change very quickly, very fast, right when we saw the E.M.S. People reacting. And you kind of go through the crowd. It was like a tidal wave almost. Once everyone saw what was going on. I spent a lot of time in Richmond. It's a beautiful place. We send our best to everybody there. Ricky Burch and Amanda Patterson, thank you both for joining us. We appreciate it. Ricky said, such a helpless
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