Multiple fires threaten historic Wurstfest grounds in New Braunfels

Crews from a Joint Incident Command response team battle a fire on the grounds of Wurstfest on Nov. 15. (Ian Pribanic/Community Impact Newspaper)
Crews from a Joint Incident Command response team battle a fire on the grounds of Wurstfest on Nov. 15. (Ian Pribanic/Community Impact Newspaper)

Crews from a Joint Incident Command response team battle a fire on the grounds of Wurstfest on Nov. 15. (Ian Pribanic/Community Impact Newspaper)

Image description
Crews from a Joint Incident Command response team battle a fire on the grounds of Wurstfest on Nov. 15. (Ian Pribanic/Community Impact Newspaper)
Image description
Crews from a Joint Incident Command response team battle a fire on the grounds of Wurstfest on Nov. 15. (Ian Pribanic/Community Impact Newspaper)
Image description
Crews from a Joint Incident Command response team battle a fire on the grounds of Wurstfest on Nov. 15. (Ian Pribanic/Community Impact Newspaper)
Image description
Crews from a Joint Incident Command response team battle a fire on the grounds of Wurstfest on Nov. 15. (Ian Pribanic/Community Impact Newspaper)
Image description
Crews from a Joint Incident Command response team battle a fire on the grounds of Wurstfest on Nov. 15. (Ian Pribanic/Community Impact Newspaper)
A pair of fires have threatened the historic grounds at Wurstfest.

The initial fire was reported at 7:15 p.m. on Nov. 14 at 178 Landa Park Drive, New Braunfels, and was contained to a single booth after spreading to the roof and attic area, according David Ferguson, Joint Incident Command information officer. Crews were back at the festival grounds around 6 a.m. Nov. 15, Ferguson said, in order to fight what is believed to be a flare-up of the initial fire.

“They immediately began attacking the fire,” Ferguson said about the early-morning response. “The main way to do that was to pull back the metal roof and attack it with water and firefighting foam.”

Crews were still putting out spot fires around 9 a.m., Ferguson said, while the Marketplatz, or main food court, is believed to have experienced the majority of the damage.

The nearby Wursthalle, or main hall, suffered some smoke and heat damage, but the building remains structurally sound, Ferguson said.


Beyond the Marketplatz and Wursthalle, the main performance tent and other primary structures were not affected, and there were no reported injuries to civilians or firefighters, Ferguson said.

“The state fire marshal and ATF were called in to help with the investigation because of the extent of the damage and the historic nature of the property,” Ferguson said.

Due to runoff from firefighting foam and soot from the fire, the Comal River has been temporarily closed to recreation. The cause of the fire and the location where it originated are still being investigated, Ferguson said.

Along with New Braunfels fire, EMS and police responses, personnel from San Marcos, Seguin, Schertz, Cibolo and Canyon Lake made up the Joint Incident Command response team.

“You want to make sure you have all of your resources available,” Ferguson said. “These firefighters, police officers and paramedics train together for this sort of thing.”
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