Historic Lagoon building rekindles Saturday night after morning fire; candy store, kids’ ride destroyed

The Farmington Fire Department shared photos of the effort to fight the rekindled Lagoon fire on Dec. 18, 2021.

FARMINGTON, Utah, Dec. 19, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — A Saturday morning fire that burned part of a historic structure in Farmington’s Lagoon amusement park rekindled later that night, and destroyed the remaining structure.

The fire was first reported at 8 a.m. Saturday by an employee of Lagoon, which is currently closed for the season.

Fire crews from multiple agencies responded to the scene, at the Carousel Candy store and Scamper, a children’s bumper car ride, which shared the same building near the park’s merry-go-round.

“It did take about two hours to achieve fire control due to some challenging logistics,” Farmington Fire Chief Guido Smith told Gephardt Daily on Saturday afternoon.

“We were however able to save a significant amount of property such as carousel horses that were in the structure stored and on display at the time.”

Photo: Farmington Fire Department/Facebook

Embers rekindle

The fire was believed to be completely out before crews left the scene hours later. But at about 9:22 p.m. Saturday, firefighters were alerted to more flames at the historic park, which is more than 80 years old.

“Dispatch center received calls from people driving by on I-15,” Smith told Gephardt Daily on Sunday. “They advised of a large fire visible from the freeway. Crews responded within five minutes. We had the first crews on scene and identified the same fire building we had worked on earlier in the day.”

The Farmington Fire Department shared photos of the effort to fight the rekindled Lagoon fire on Dec. 18, 2021.

The flames were heavier, “the crews worked through till early hours of the morning before achieving significant knockdown of the fire,” Smith said. “It was a very aggressive fire this time.”

Additional crews from South Davis Metro Fire, Layton City Fire, Kaysville City Fire and Hill Air Force Base returned to help the Farmington Fire Department.

“There was one firefighter injury treated and subsequently released from a local hospital,” Smith said, adding that the injury was the result of muscle strain sustained during the overnight fire fight.

Total loss

All parts of the Carousel Candy and Scamper structure that had survived the morning fire were burned Saturday night, Smith said.

“This time, the entire structure was a complete loss, and the operations ended this morning around 11 a.m. We had to bulldoze the building to achieve a complete fire suppression activity.”

Several nearby buildings were threatened by the fire, but firefighters were able to save them all, Smith said. He estimated the Carousel Candy/Scamper structure was worth more than $300,000.

The red arrow points to the structure that contained both Carousel Candy and the Scamper children’s ride. Source: Lagoon website

Smith said the biggest potential problem when fighting fires in historic structures is the empty structural spaces created during remodels.

“When you have structures that are 70- to 80-plus years of age, with multiple remodeling and what we refer to as overbuilds, is fires can be extremely difficult to extinguish because of all the void space. Embers can sit and wait for periods of hours before really taking off when given the opportunity by either airflow currents or fuel load changes.”

Lagoon statement

Lagoon amusement park released a statement Sunday afternoon thanking firefighters and sharing some pre-fire photos.

“Thank you to the dedicated fire fighters and Lagoon employees who worked all night long to minimize damage and save other structures,” it says. “It is with great remorse that we announce that Carousel Candy and the Children’s mini bumper cars were lost in the fire.

“As always, Lagoon is dedicated to providing a safe, fun park for families to enjoy for many years to come. We are already making plans to rebuild for the upcoming season.

“In 1953, this same time of year, the Lagoon Midway was destroyed by fire. The park opened on time in 1954….. and Lagoon will do the same in 2022.”

Gephardt Daily will have more information on the fires when it is released.

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