Fire Contained to Roof
A FIRE ON THE EXTERIOR OF THE HERSHEYPARK ARENA ROOF in Hershey, Pennsylvania, Thursday afternoon brought a 5-alarm response to the 75-yr.-old sports arena located within the confines of the historic HersheyPark. The fire started around 1 pm in the roof which has several layers of roofing that have built up over the years. There was a construction crew putting a new roof on the building when the fire started. About 30 other workers were inside installing a new surface for the ice rink and they were all evacuated safely.
The fire was especially challenging for the FD because of the steeply-inclined half-tube shape. The extremely high heat outside required extra alarms for relief crews to work the incident. By 3 pm the fire was out and the roofers were cleaning out the damaged area.
The only damage to the interior is some slight smoke and soot residue. The arena is expected to be back in operation in about two days.
The only amusement park ride directly affected was the monorail that runs close to the arena which shut down during the fire operations. About 8 or 10 other rides had to suspend operations temporarily when the smoke started drifting into their area.
Hersheypark Coaster Frames Firefighters at Work.
(Lebanon Daily News)
The Lebanon Daily News provided this brief video report from the scene:
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Hersheypark Arena was the scene of Wilt Chamberlain's record-holding 100-point performance in an NBA game between the Philadelphia Warriors and New York Knicks on March 2, 1962.
The building hasn't been consistently used in a professional capacity since 2002 when GIANT Center opened its doors across the parking lot. The Hershey Bears hockey club moved to the new building and have played there since, but the roots of the American Hockey League's oldest franchise still remain at their old home. The club, born in 1932, moved to Hersheypark Arena following its opening in 1936 and played over 2,200 games there before moving in '02. The Bears are currently the top affiliate of the NHL's Washington Capitals.
Since the Bears' departure, the arena has been used as a practice facility for the club and is the home of the Lebanon Valley College ice hockey team. High school sporting events, including various Pa. state championships are held at the arena as well.
The Lebanon Daily News has the STORY.
Hat tip: Carmine S.
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