Three firefighters were hospitalized late Tuesday after battling a fire at a Cedar Point maintenance and storage facility.
Two firefighters — one from Cedar Point, one from Margaretta — suffered heat exhaustion, while a Sandusky firefighter suffered unknown injuries after falling from a ladder posted against the outside of the burning building.
All three men were taken by ambulance to Firelands Regional Medical Center for treatment. The Cedar Point firefighter who suffered heat exhaustion was treated and released by 11:30 p.m., while the other two remained hospitalized.
The blaze broke out on the second floor of the building shortly before 9 p.m. The building is located in an employees-only area behind the Corkscrew and Power Tower.
Inside the building was office supplies and furniture, as well as plumbing and electrical equipment.
The fire started near a stairwell between the plumbing and electrical shops, said Sandusky assistant fire Chief Paul Ricci.
Cedar Point firefighters were notified of the blaze at about 8:40 p.m., park spokesman Bryan Edwards said.
Park personnel then called in Sandusky firefighters, who were later assisted by crews from Perkins and Margaretta townships and the city of Huron.
The building was engulfed in flames by the time Ricci arrived on scene at about 9 p.m.
Cedar Point firefighters were already fighting the blaze when other firefighters arrived, but it only grew in ferocity.
At the fire’s peak, upwards of 40 firefighters were on scene, Ricci said.
While crews trained multiple hoses on the structure, park visitors remained largely unaffected. Workers only shut down three rides — Power Tower, Corkscrew and Super Himalaya — because the rides were so close to the burning building.
Firefighters extinguished the brunt of the blaze within an hour and a half, Ricci said.
While investigators are still trying to figure out what sparked the fire, the building remains virtually a total loss, Ricci said.
Edwards and emergency crews did not immediately have a cost estimate on damages.
The building is a 5,000-square-foot, two-story structure made of block and steel.
“The fire department did a great job, especially with the temperature outside,” Edwards said. “Those guys absolutely need to be commended.”
When the fire broke out, temperatures were in the low 80s.
To his knowledge, employees were not in the building when the fire started, Edwards said.
“The positive news is no guests or employees were in any danger at any time,” he said. “Three rides were shut down as a precaution.”
All three rides will be open Wednesday and the park will continue to operate without disruption, Edwards said.
Park visitors seemed, for the most part, unaware of the fire. They continued to ride the Top Thrill Dragster, while many crowded into the midway to watch the evening’s fireworks show.
Scott Roush, 39, of Lexington, was one of a few visitors leaning by the fence near the Power Tower as fire crews worked behind the hedge line.
“We were fishing down at the pier when we saw the fire trucks coming by,” Roush said.
His family has season passes to Cedar Point, so they decided to enter the park to see what was happening.
Roush said the fire wouldn’t disrupt his visits to the park — he was just curious about the commotion.
Other visitors craned their necks to get a glimpse of the fire as they stepped over hoses snaking through the midway near Top Thrill Dragster.
Cedar Point staff hovered over the fire hose, making sure visitors didn’t trip over it in the darkness.
Early Wednesday, a handful of firefighters were still on scene. Crews also called in a Sandusky police detective.