A Knights tail: Dragon mascot plays hero

Charlotte's Homer, who breathes fire, slays downtown flower bed blaze

March 11th, 2021

Homer, the Charlotte Knights' dragon mascot, breathes fire. On Tuesday, he helped put one out.

"It was a wild afternoon, certainly not what we were expecting," said Knights entertainment coordinator Nick Farmer, one of Homer's most trusted companions.

"I was coming back from lunch and saw Homer putting out a fire. Like, 'What is happening?'" added Knight vice president of communications Tommy Viola, the amazement still evident in his voice.

Homer's heroics resulted in a far-from-typical Tuesday for the Knights, who have served as the Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox since 1999.

"We were in the team store shooting a video, just cutting some different promos for merch we wanted to highlight this season on the videoboard," said Farmer. "We had a bunch of staff members in the store modeling different outfits. They went back to work and it was Homer's turn to model. But then Elijah [Saint Blancard], the manager of the team store, looks out the window and yells 'There's a fire!' Elijah has a fun personality, we thought he was fooling with us, but then we looked through the blinds. Okay, there's a fire and it's pretty big!"

The fire in question was emanating from a public park flower bed located across the street from the Knights' downtown Charlotte home of Truist Field.

"There was a [good Samaritan] out there who had just pulled over, and he was hitting it with his fire extinguisher," said Farmer. "But his extinguisher ran out of juice and the fire was still going. So Eiljah handed an extinguisher to Homer, who pulled the pin, ran out there and started going after it. People are eating lunch, having a picnic in the park, and they're pulling out their phones taking video of a dragon putting out a fire.

"Soon [Charlotte Fire Department's] Station 4 Engine 4 rolls out, sirens blaring. They came out of the truck with the biggest smiles on their faces, seeing Homer fighting it by himself. They pulled out the hose, got it set up, and go up to Homer. 'You want to do it?' He emphatically nodded yes, grabbed the hose, cranked it up and put out the fire. He did it singlehandedly. ... Well, along with the support of the fine gentlemen of Station 4 Engine 4."

"Funny thing is, he's a fire-breathing dragon and yet he was out there fighting fire," added Viola.

"The irony of the situation is pretty hilarious," concluded Farmer. "I think he was in his element. He knew just what to do. If anybody was prepared for this situation, it's Homer. He's walking around the office wearing a fire hat now. He thinks he's pretty special."

Homer, who does not speak on account of being a dragon, issued a statement regarding his heroic exploits: "I’m so thankful for the brave citizen that started putting the fire out, those that called 911, and the Engine 4 crew! It was an honor to protect and serve the neighborhood and city that I love."

Farmer said that Homer hopes to soon visit the firefighters who assisted in him in putting out Tuesday's would-be conflagration. A career change is out of the question, however.

"The opportunity to slide down the big pole is tempting, but his duties are best served here at the ballpark," said Farmer.