Monique Garcia was one of 1,900 people visiting Raging Waters at Cal Expo Friday afternoon when the fire department ordered an evacuation.
“We were having a blast, until the fire struck out” she said.
As Garcia and her five children left the park, they noticed one of the main gates was locked.
“It was crazy, I was really scared. I was missing 3 of my 5 children and the only way out was the turn styles. people had to get in a single file line.” Garcia said.
But, Cal Expo told FOX40 Monday, the front gate near the “California” sign was only shut for three minutes.
“Our doors were open for the majority of the time. Initially, we had to close the doors for a short period because there were people trying to come in the park,” Cal Expo Marketing Director Jennifer Castleberry told FOX40. “We follow what the State Fire Marshall’s Office has approved.” When FOX40 requested a copy of Cal Expo’s evacuation plan for our 5 p.m. newscast, we were told it wasn’t readily available Monday.
A representative from the State Fire Marshall’s office said they will be meeting with Cal Expo in the near future to ensure their staff is properly trained on an evacuation procedure.
“One of the concerns we did have was that Cal Expo started giving out vouchers to people during the evacuation process” Daniel Berlant, with Cal Fire and the State Fire Marshall’s office, said.
Castleberry expects 700,000 people to visit during the state fair this year. “The public has nothing to worry about. We have always followed what the state fire Marshall has approved.”