Fire marshal denies blocking Trump supporters

Donald Trump's rally in Lakeland Wednesday is the subject of some discrepancy as to the number of attendees.

LAKELAND, Fla. (WTSP) -- Donald Trump called out Lakeland’s fire marshal during his rally Wednesday.

“Over there, there's thousands of people trying to get in,” Trump said, referencing the outside of the venue. “I wish the fire department would let them in, in all fairness. We're outside! You don't need a fire marshal. We're outside. So fire marshal, will you let the people in please? These people. I assume the fire marshal is a Democrat. I assume. Unbelievable. It never, it never stops.”

Trump has made similar claims at other rallies. The problem in this case, is it’s just not true.

There were about 6,000 people at the rally. The area with temporary barricades around it wasn’t even full, but event organizers set up those fences, not Lakeland Fire Marshal Cheryl Edwards. She’s not bothered by Trump’s calling her out.

“You kind of have a broad set of shoulders. It doesn't affect me,” she said.

She said it’s wrong for Trump to claim she stopped anyone from getting inside the rally.

“The event was held outside, so our fire code does not actually apply in the situation,” she explained. “There are some outdoor applications, but this one, we just had no reason to apply any fire code.”

Hundreds of people might not have gotten into the event, but that was due to Secret Service, not the fire marshal. She wasn't even there.

Lakeland Fire Department's only involvement at the event was helping more than 20 people who needed medical attention due to the heat.


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