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It sounds like one of the wires has become disconnected. This is not good, as it could create a fire hazard. Pull the power to the fan and open it up to inspect the wiring. Tighten connections and then try again.
Well, you can take it down and replace the switch. Most decent hardware stores have generic internal switches. You could unscrew the bulb a little every time you want it off.
You could mount a wall switch for the unit and live with the fan and light always being on at the same time.
The pull-switch is not too difficult to replace, just seems scary. disconnect the unit from all power and do the work at the table.
Keep all fasteners in order of removal, and make notes or label parts with tape as you disassemble. Take a picture of the switch when you get it open and show it to the person at the store. Bring home the new switch and swap it in one wire at a time.
Reassemble, remount, and sew on your DIY achievement patch:)
Farmerbear at FixYa.com