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May 21, 2004

Fire Damages Station For Historic Roller Coaster

Blackpool, England -- A massive blaze engulfed Blackpool Pleasure Beach last night destroying the station and trains for the historic Grand National roller coaster. A children's ride and a walk-through attraction were damaged in the fire.

Approximately 60 firefighters were called to the scene to battle the flames that were fanned by strong winds. It took approximately four hours for firefighters to extinguish the flames, but several engines remained at the scene overnight.

The cause of the fire is unknown and under investigation.

Firefighters had a tough battle to keep it from spreading through more of the park. The wooden coaster made it a tough fight and the grease and oil around the coaster did not help.

Blackpool officials said it will be business as usual today and planned to have the park open on time. Several attractions and a small section of the park will be closed in the meantime.

Officials vowed to rebuild the damaged Grand National roller coaster. One estimated that it would take a month or two to rebuild the station. The Alice in Wonderland building which backs the Grand National was damaged and will be closed.

The walk-through attraction Trauma Tower has water damage and will likely reopen after it dries out.

Blackpool Pleasure Beach has 145 rides and attractions.