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  [Dan] Lipinski and others abandon parade float as smoke erupts
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Last EditedCOSDem  Mar 13, 2006 06:38pm
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MediaNewspaper - Chicago Tribune
News DateTuesday, March 14, 2006 12:00:00 AM UTC0:0
DescriptionEverything was going smoothly for U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.) during the South Side Irish parade on Western Avenue Sunday until his float got to 112th Street.

That's when a thick, white cloud of smoke erupted from the front of the Chevy pickup carrying a float that was decorated with a plastic picnic table, a long white platform adorned with shamrocks and green-trim--and Lipinski, another adult and six children.

Lipinski and the others on board scattered, as did the float's driver. Meanwhile, the crowd cheered mercilessly.

A contingent of marching New York City firefighters, who had been invited to the parade by Lipinski, ran to the smoking vehicle. They quickly made sure no one was still aboard and pushed it out of the parade route. Chicago firefighters later doused the truck's engine with water.

Lipinski, who faces two challengers in the March 21 Democratic primary in the Southwest Side's 3rd Congressional District, said the float was rented.

"It was cheap," he said disgustedly as he decided to hoof it along the parade route. "It was a good thing we had the New York Fire Department right behind us."
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