Firefighters examine cause of Cedar Point blaze

From The Morning Journal

SANDUSKY — Firefighters continue to investigate the cause of a blaze that damaged a maintenance building at Cedar Point on Tuesday night.

Two firefighters from Cedar Point and Margaretta Township suffered from heat exhaustion and Sandusky Firefighter Steve Rucker suffered a fall of about 10 feet from a ground ladder at the building, said SFD Assistant Chief Paul Ricci. The three were treated and released from Firelands Regional Medical Center.

Sandusky Fire Inspector Rudy Ruiz was back at the building this morning to examine a possible cause, Ricci said.

It appeared the fire may have started in a second floor storage area, but an exact cause and location were not known yet, he said.

The fire did not damage any Cedar Point rides, although the Corkscrew roller coaster, the Power Tower and the Super Himalaya spinning ride were closed because they were the rides closest to the fire, said park spokesman Bryan Edwards.

“Other than that, nothing happened inside the park,” Edwards said. “Guests were not in any danger and those rides were opened again this morning.”

The fire may have caused damage worth an estimated $500,000 to $750,000, Ricci said, but he cautioned that it’s a “very rough estimate” based on the building’s size. The structure, used as a plumbing shop, was a block and steel building about 50 feet wide by 100 feet long.

“There’s going to be considerable analysis as to the cost of this incident,” Ricci said.

The Cedar Point Fire Department called Sandusky firefighters at about 8:44 p.m. Friday for assistance in extinguishing a structure fire, Ricci said.

Sandusky firefighters arrived and entered the building, but got out fast, Ricci said.

“At some point into that operation there were significant indicators of a potential or partial collapse of the roof system,” he said. “All personnel were brought out.”

Firefighters from Huron and Margaretta Township responded to assist as Perkins Township firefighters also came into Sandusky to respond to other calls for fires or ambulances, Ricci said.

At Cedar Point, up to 40 firefighters were on scene and it took about 90 minutes to get the flames under control, Ricci said.

The fire was located in an area of the park not accessible to guests, Ricci said. Cedar Point maintenance workers had daily and nightly access to the building for park maintenance but it was unclear whether workers were inside the building when the fire broke out, he said.

The fire was the second multiple-alarm fire in two days for Sandusky and its neighboring fire departments.

On Monday, five firefighters suffered from heat exhaustion while battling a blaze in a six-unit condominium building at Marina Point Drive. That fire badly damaged two units and four others had smoke and water damage, Ricci said.

He credited the Sandusky firefighters and the surrounding departments for their work.

“Given the weather, it’s incredibly taxing on resources and personnel,” Ricci said. “They’re up to the task. They do a really admirable job.”

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