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Fire Department hosts 5-Alarm Family Fire Fest

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By Kelly Cantrall

Chili added heat to a local fire safety event this weekend.

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Central Hardin Fire Department hosted 5-Alarm Family Fire Fest on Saturday at the Historic State Theater in Elizabethtown. The fundraiser supported Crusade for Children through admission and contest entry fees.

Along with inflatables and games for children, the inaugural event offered a chili cook-off contest and two movies during the day — “Firehouse Dog” and “Fireproof.”

The department wanted to try something different to raise money for Crusade, which assists special needs children in Kentucky and Indiana, said Assistant Chief Tom Williams, event organizer.

Despite a lighter turnout than they had hoped, Williams said the department would like to host the fundraiser again.

“We’re going to continue doing it. Everyone seems to be enjoying themselves,” he said.

Thomas McDeavitt, an Elizabethtown resident, won the overall category in the chili cook-off, which was deemed the “Joe Public” category. McDeavitt said his recipe is pretty simple.

“I just like cooking chili,” he said. “Been told it’s pretty good.”

Mike Benningfield and his Emergency Management Shift entered a pot of chili in the Emergency Services category. His chili boasted a special ingredient — a ghost pepper, which was certified as the hottest chili pepper in the world by the Guinness Book of World Records in 2007. It’s so hot that chili artists cooking with them are advised to handle the peppers with gloves, which Benningfield did. He added five to their pot of chili.

The ghost pepper was Benningfield’s idea, he said.

“I like to make it really hot,” he said.

Kelly Cantrall can be reached at (270) 505-1747 or kcantrall@thenewsenterprise.com.