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Duke, Durham Fire Officials Look Into Post-Game Bonfire

Posted February 7, 2008

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— Duke University officials are trying to determine who started a celebratory bonfire on campus late Wednesday after the Blue Devils beat archrival University of North Carolina on the Tar Heels home court.

Durham firefighters quickly extinguished the fiery celebration, noting that the students didn't have a permit for a bonfire. Durham Fire Department officials said they plan to meet with Duke administrators about the incident.

"It's unfortunate that they attempted to have a bonfire when we didn't have a permit," said Larry Moneta, Duke's vice president for student affairs. "To the extent that we can identify who began the fire, we will take appropriate action."

Moneta didn't elaborate on what kind of disciplinary action, if any, would be taken.

Bonfires have been a tradition at Duke following big victories. University administrators and Durham fire authorities said they aren't against the fires, but authorities said a permit is needed so firefighters have some advance notice and can keep the fire from getting out of control.

"This was not one of the games that the students have chosen to have a bonfire. We may have to revisit that if, in fact, there is a desire for a bonfire when we win at Chapel Hill," Moneta said.

Meanwhile, plans are in the works for a similar party on campus when UNC visits Duke next month.

"Come back on March 8 and watch us do a bonfire the right way," he said with a chuckle.

16 Comments

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  • 63 Feb 8, 2008

    Wonder why none of the media have picked up on the fact that the Dukies threw beer cans at the firefighters when they showed up? For that reason alone--attacking public safety workers--they should never be allowed a bonfire again.

  • TarheelTurtle Feb 8, 2008

    Thanks smilin...sick kid takes priority over spelling. I agree, Durham has more pressing issues...

  • Smiling Jack 84 Feb 8, 2008

    The word is "deign"

    I am glad that all else is right with Durham and the fire is the most important thing to investigate.

  • TarheelTurtle Feb 8, 2008

    likemenow...obviously you don't live or work in Durham. If you did, you would know that Duke students are the LEAST productive members of their "city." If they dain to travel outside their "elite" walls and give back to the community, it's big news. How do I know, members of my family are big-time contributors to the resurgence of Downtown Durham and other than BLue Devil Ventures, you statement is way off base. Students come in, spend Daddy's money bar-hopping, (mostly in CH), then graduate and leave...They destroy the stately homes in Trinity Park, and look down on locals.
    As for the bonfire permit, all Duke did was beat us. I thought that you Dukie's didn't think that was such a big deal?

  • snizzake Feb 8, 2008

    i just hope that the UNC tarhole fans can learn something from this.... HOW TO BUILD A REAL BONFIRE! i think it is hilariously embarassing to watch UNC fans ball up some newspaper, light it on fire, and prance around it like little fairies or wood nymphs! then they "jump" over it like Jack-be-nimble. what a bunch of fairy-tale mother-gooseries!

  • thefensk Feb 8, 2008

    It isn't the celebration that is important, nor is the tradition important. You all seem to miss the important point here: what is really at stake here is how can Duke and the city of Durham cover their liability in case somebody gets hurt.

    I imagine this goes back to the Texas A&M bonfire collapse where several people died (heck it wasn't even burning yet). In fact there have been several injuries over the years.

    Let's face it, we live in a litiginous society and traditions like this are just another lawsuit waiting in the wings.

  • tamed_devil Feb 8, 2008

    ************************************************************
    *****
    "This was not one of the games that the students have chosen to have a bonfire. We may have to revisit that if, in fact, there is a desire for a bonfire when we win at Chapel Hill," Moneta said.
    ************************************************************
    **

    !Frickin right it should be revisited. It's the Duke UNC game. Duh!!!!

  • Z Man Feb 8, 2008

    So tired of "it's the law and you didn't have a permit".

    The students are going to celebrate no matter what. Why does Duke not anticipate this and acquire the permit, supply the wood, and have the appropriate backup (firetruck) there just in case. That way not only the students but the benches and trees will be safe!

    BTW - this wastes no water unless the fire gets out of hand.

    It's gonna happen so Duke should help out. And stop with the ludicrous 'hey - they didn't have a permit'!

  • Scubagirl Feb 8, 2008

    "Doe the D.A. office not have any more pressing issues to deal with in Durham than a bunch of relatively harmless celebrations by the only (relatively speaking) productive members in their city? They can sure spend the manpower to root out all the evil-doers at Duke but can they even make a dent in their crime wave posing as a city?"
    I agree completely-Duke has bigger problems than this to worry about

  • likemenow Feb 8, 2008

    Doe the D.A. office not have any more pressing issues to deal with in Durham than a bunch of relatively harmless celebrations by the only (relatively speaking) productive members in their city? They can sure spend the manpower to root out all the evil-doers at Duke but can they even make a dent in their crime wave posing as a city?

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