A sleepover to remember
Students recount time at Pepsi Center
December 22, 2007
Craig — On Dec. 15, Craig Cub Scouts traveled to Denver to watch an Avalanche hockey game. During a sleepover in the Pepsi Center after the game, a fire broke out in a locker room. Three Cub Scouts tell the story.
Our sleepless sleepover
By Logan Swett, 10
We all thought it was a fake.
People were just ignoring the fire alarm, flashing lights and loudspeaker announcement until a security man came around.
He said it was real and that we had to go down to the atrium of the Pepsi Center. We were stuck there for two hours.
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I only cared about the hockey puck and player cards I had bought for souvenirs. I left everything else behind.
Several of our Den 5 Webelos Cub Scouts group had gone to Denver for a sleepover at the Pepsi Center. We watched the Avalanche play against the Predators.
The score was 3 to 1. It was a great game.
After the game we played broomball on the arena ice. Then, we set up our sleeping bags in the hallway of the Club Level.
The Pepsi Center arranger, Brendan Neeson, said it was the biggest turnout they ever had.
Over 500 cub scouts and their families were there. Everyone was sleeping on the floor of the Pepsi Center.
Some groups brought tents and cots. Some, like us, only brought sleeping bags.
After a movie, we were playing football with other cub scouts when the bell rang and the hallway lights started flashing. It looked like strobe lights.
The loud speaker was saying, “Please proceed calmly to the nearest stairways. The fire alarm has been triggered. All elevators and escalators are shut down for your safety. The Fire Department has been notified. Please exit at once.”
I looked around and no one else was paying attention to the alarm. I thought it was a false alarm.
I just kept playing.
When we were finally told to go to the atrium, it was very crowded but I was glad we weren’t outside because it was very cold. I fell asleep on the floor, waiting for more information.
Finally, about 4 a.m., they told us we could go upstairs and get our things but we would have to go home. It would take the Fire Department a long time to clear the building.
We got a motel room for the rest of the night but we still didn’t get much sleep.
It was a fun trip to Denver – but it was a long trip.
My Avalanche adventure
By Riley O’Leary, 10
We stared in disbelief at the sleeping people around us.
No one else seemed to be moving but us.
I think they thought it was a false alarm.
When we got to the bottom of the huge cascading stairways, we looked back. They were empty. No one else was coming.
It was Dec. 15, the day that I went to my first professional hockey game. It was the best day of my life. I screamed so loud my throat was on fire after the game.
I was there on a Cub Scout sleepover. Beside me were my two friends, Ethan Crisp and Logan Swett.
The Avalanche won the game against the Nashville Predators. My favorite player is Peter Budaj. He plays goal like I do for the Craig Hockey House Team.
He was great. I think he saved the game because he stopped the big slap shots at goal.
The team really relies on him. He was voted the game’s most valuable player that night.
After the game we got to play broomball on the ice at the Pepsi Center. It was exciting because I got to stand where Peter Budaj played.
Then, we put our sleeping bags in the carpeted hallway of the Club Level. We watched a movie, Ratatouille, on the big score board screens. Logan, Ethan and I were walking around the Avalanche ice rink while watching the movie.
After the movie, Ethan, Logan and I thought up a game called hockey bowl. While we were playing in the hallway, we heard a deep voice say, “Please report calmly to the nearest exit. All elevators and escalators have been shut down for your safety. The Fire Department has been notified and is responding.”
There were flashing lights like the light show at the beginning of the hockey game – except it was in the hallways.
My mom and I got up.
We smelled the smoke. It was coming from the coliseum. We hurried and put on our jackets and shoes and walked quickly to the huge staircases. We looked at the sleeping people around us.
No one else seemed to be moving except us. I think they thought it was a false alarm.
When we got to the bottom, we looked back up the two flights of the stairway.
They were empty. No one else was coming.
We asked the security man at the front desk if he knew what was going on. Was it just a prank?
He responded, “No, we do not have fire alarm pulls here.”
We were about to ask another question when we were interrupted by a phone call.
We overheard the security man say, “You mean you want me to evacuate all of them? There are over 500 people here!”
He turned to us and said, “I guess you will have to wait outside.”
“Maybe we’ll get to see the fire trucks!” I said to my mom.
We waited outside but it was very cold so we went to the car. In the warm car we could see the front entrances of the Pepsi Center.
Still no one else was coming. We could see the flashing hallway lights through the window. We waited for 30 minutes but still no one came out of the Pepsi Center.
“What’s wrong with these people?” I said to my mom.
“Well, we are from a smaller town,” she said. “To us, a fire alarm means there is a fire. To Denver people, a fire alarm must mean someone probably pulled the fire alarm.”
Denver’s Fire House 6 responded to the alarm they received at 1:49 a.m. with three fire trucks, a HazMat team and the arson bureau. The biggest of the trucks was Tower 4.
Fire Chief John Mees said lint in the dryer of the (Nuggets) locker room caught fire. The water pipes that heated the Pepsi Center froze and broke. That caused a flood that lead into the Avalanche locker room and sparked the dryer.
The Pepsi Center let us back in to get our things at about 4 a.m. We loaded up the car and drove home.
It was an adventure for me.
The Avalanche Disaster
By Ethan Crisp, 10
On Saturday (Dec. 15) a few of our den’s scouts went to Denver for an Avalanche game.
It was so cool! We made three goals and the other team made only one.
The game was against the Nashville Predators. There was a fistfight and a lot of checking each other into the board.
It was different from watching the game on TV. You get to scream and yell. You cannot hear yourself scream and yell even though you are yelling your loudest because everyone else in the stadium is yelling and screaming.
The fistfight was awesome. One Avalanche guy and one Nashville guy started to check each other into the board, then the Nashville player punched the Av. guy. Then he punched the Nashville guy twice and he fell to the ice. The Avalanche guy grabbed his neck and started to punch him in the back.
After the game we watched a movie and saw them put the basketball floor over the ice. Then we played football.
After we played football, we went to our sleeping bags, which were on the floor, and played a game called puck bowling that Riley made up.
Right when we got into our sleeping bags to sleep, the fire alarm sounded.
We looked out the window and saw the fire trucks coming. Next, a security guard came around to all of us sleeping on the floor.
“There has been a fire,” he said. “Please go down to the main floor.”
At first, we thought someone just tripped the alarm.
Then we went downstairs and heard the building manager say there had been a fire in the Denver Nuggets locker room.
We waited two hours until we heard more from him.
At four in the morning, he told us it was not safe for us to stay so we gathered up all our stuff and went out into the cold.
When we went to get our stuff, we smelled smoke. It was really strong. If you looked into the rink, you could see smoke.
We had nowhere else to go and were too tired to drive home, so we found a motel and slept for three hours.
I loved going to the Avalanche game and that weekend was even more exciting than usual.