CONNEAUT LAKE, Pa. (Erie News Now) – Firefighters were called to Conneaut Lake Park to put out a fire while crews demolished the iconic Blue Streak Tuesday afternoon.
It happened after a controlled burn near the carousel got out of hand, according to early reports from the scene. Buildings and structures next to the Blue Streak, as well as part of the roller coaster, caught fire.
A number of fire departments responded to the scene including Conneaut Lake, Summit, Linesville and Vernon Central.
In a Facebook post, the general manager said heavy equipment had been demolishing the roller coaster, and small, controlled fires were being used to burn the wood. The heavy equipment, which was being used to control the burns, reportedly suffered a mechanical issue, and the fire spread to the front part of the loading dock, the post said.
The park has demolition and burn permits, according to the general manger.
About half of the roller coaster had already been demolished. The rest of the Blue Streak will come down in the next few days, according to the post.
The historic, wooden roller coaster was built in 1937. It has been opened and closed multiple times over the years.
For several years, the park’s future has been in limbo.
It was recently sold in a bankruptcy auction to Keldon Holdings, which is owned by Philadelphia-area businessman Todd Joseph.
Since the sale, the park had been largely dismantled. Several rides had been torn down and sold, and the park’s owner has feuded with nearby residents who fear he is planning to redevelop the land.
Erie News Now tried several times over the last year to talk to the owner, but he has declined the interview requests.