Conneaut Lake residents react to blue streak roller coaster fire

Local News

A fire at Conneaut Lake Park is putting residents in an emotional state as one of their favorite roller coasters is now gone.

People gathered at Conneaut Lake Park were surprised with the entire scene.

The fire began from the demolition process as the owner started dismantling the coaster and setting small piles on fire.

The fire quickly spread and got out of hand.

The blue streak roller coaster, a historic piece to Conneaut Lake Park, is meaningful to so many residents that remember the park from their childhood.

“I was very surprised that there is a fire. I didn’t even know that they are tearing down the blue streak and doing a controlled burn. It’s a shame that it’s getting out of control,” said Spencer Boyd, Conneaut Lake Resident.

People were surprised not only that there was a fire, but to hear that the owner is demolishing the roller coaster. The roller coaster has been there since the 1930’s.

When the fire from the demolition got out of hand, the owner called in crews to help.

“He has a demolition permit and has a permit to burn a small pile at a time, and had a machine separating the small piles. The machine overheated and broke down. The fire left the first pile because of the wind and spread,” said Pete Albaugh, Fire Marshal, Summit Township.

This is the area right here where the owner set small groupings of wood on fire to continue the demolition of blue streak that would soon turn into an inferno of fire.

“It spread from one pile to the other. The demolition permit is for the blue streak you know. His paper work for the demolition was in order,” said Albaugh.

People in the area were upset to see one of their favorite roller coasters gone.

“I think it’s terrible. I think it was an American treasure. It’s sad but it is his park so what are you going to do,” said Ed Fabin, Conneaut Lake Resident.

When people found out about this news, they began to question if the park would be turned into something else.

“We already had Conneaut Lake Park. Anything beyond this you know I don’t. A public park would be nice, but I’d like the owners to do whatever they would like to do with it,” said Boyd.

According to the fire marshal, the owner of the park will be clearing out the debris from the roller coaster this week.

Residents that live next to the park said that they just want the owner to be more transparent with what is going on to the park and hope that some historic items will be preserved.

The general manager of Conneaut Lake Park also released a statement on their Facebook page.

“As the GM I would like to make a statement explaining what happened today. Damage to the blue streak was not caused by the fire. It was from the heavy equipment demolishing it as per permit this morning. A burn permit was also issued to have small controlled fires to burn the wood as demolition continued. A mechanical issue occurred to the heavy equipment used to assist in the control, causing the fire to spread to the front part of the loading dock. To ensure safety the Fire Department was called to assist. Thankfully no one was hurt. The rest of the Blue Streak will come down in the next few days per permit.

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The blue streak will also be completely torn down in the next two days.

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