Hot air balloon grabs lots of attention in Attleboro

by ABC6 News Reporter Mark Curtis

It looked like a scene from the “Wizard or Oz”: in Attleboro, just before 9 a.m.

People worried a hot air balloon was about to touch down in their neighborhood.

ABC6 Chief Meteorologist Kevin Coskren grabbed his video camera.

“There was a hot air balloon, precariously close to that house right across the street and I thought, 'Well that doesn't look right.” Maybe it's going to hit a tree or a power line. And sure enough there was actually a fire truck that was out here, too,” said Coskren.

While they received no emergency call, Attleboro Firefighters decided they better check it out – even snapping this photo.

“Obviously with the low flying hot air balloon, with the wire and stuff in the residential neighborhood, we just wanted to make sure everything was all right,” said Attleboro Firefighter Paul Jacques.

ABC6 News Reporter Mark Curtis said, “While people were clearly amused by what they saw in the skies over Attleboro, there are certainly questions about whether it was legal, and whether it was safe.”

Federal aviation rules for hot air balloons, obtained by ABC6, say balloons must fly at least one–thousand feet above the tallest object in the immediate area.

Some feel the balloons are best left to the countryside.

“I usually think of hot air balloons being in wide open spaces, things like that. Not here in a little neighborhood in Attleboro,” said Kevin Coskren.

Firefighters communicated with the balloonists who did not appear to be in distress.

“You know eye–to eye contact and wave to each other and they went about there business,” said Firefighter Jacques.

The balloon landed elsewhere, and was gone by mid – morning.

And we have solved the mystery.

Late Wednesday ABC6 News spoke with the owner of “Balloon Fantasies of Rehoboth”.

She landed the balloon in Attleboro – right of off Route 1 – which is not her usual spot, and that's why it attracted so much attention.

She says there were no problems at all, and it was a perfectly safe balloon ride.