I think this might be a Rails version issue, at least in part. At some point, the test/test_helper.rb file added
which automatically loads all the fixtures. In the version that I have of this app locally, that line is not in the test_helper.rb file, instead each individual test file loads the fixtures it needs -- given later Rails conventions, I probably would have tried to figure out a different way to run this.
If your code has the fixtures :all line, then take it out and try again. If it's not there, then I'm not sure what the problem is.