Idora Park 30 years ago: The fire

This story was originally published in April of 2014, but was brought back to remember the 32nd anniversary of the Idora Park fire.

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – There was mayhem on the midway, as a large portion of Idora Park burned to the ground while firefighters battled the flames with low water pressure. The Idora inferno was first noticed by lunching workers shortly after noon. By the time the third alarm was sounded, the historic park was ablaze, possibly touched off by a welder’s torch. Nobody knows for sure. The top attraction, the Wildcat roller coaster burned, as did the Lost River amusement ride and the office. The park was due to open up a week from Saturday.

Photos: Idora Park – Before the fire

80 year old co-owner Max Rendon saw his memories burn into ashes. “It’s a heartbreaker. I can tell you that. I came in here just to visit and started to talk to Duffy and then all of a sudden I saw smoke and from then its just been hell here. It’s gone. It’s really gone.”

Part owner Pat Duffy was beside himself after losing one of the main attractions, the Wildcat. “We lost the attraction, if they can be rebuilt, the parts that burned, I don’t know. It’s the biggest part of the ride and its laying on the ground.”

Photos: Idora Park Fire

Firemen made a stand at the historic carousel. Built in 1922. It’s on the register of historic places and valued because of its hand carved horses. It was saved.

In less than 2 hours the fire had ravaged the midway. The office is gone, the Wildcat is gone which is the main attraction, the carousel’s been saved. Park owners tell us they don’t know if they will rebuild.


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