Adventureland fire destroys shops at the Iowa park

Posted | Contributed by Jeff

A plume of black smoke billowed into the afternoon sky high above the roller coasters of Adventureland when a segment of the Altoona amusement park caught fire Saturday. Fire gutted a toy store and a building of shops near the front gate of the 35-year-old park east of Des Moines.

Read more from The Des Moines Register.

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Acoustic Viscosity's avatar

Wow, my homepark. Glad the fire didn't spread anymore than it did. From what I've read, it sounds like the Bingo Parlor and Arcade with all of the classic games were damaged, but not sure how extensively. Hopefully they can get both repaired soon. It would be a shame to lose the Bingo Parlor. It's one of the unique features of the park.

AV Matt
Long live the Big Bad Wolf

Glad nobody was hurt and the fire was contained to a section.

I know this is an awkward thing to ask in this topic but,,,, how is this park? You never hear much about it in enthusiast circles.

I checked out pics of the park and some stories and it seems like this place has alot going for it.

My favorite MJ tune: "Billie Jean" which I have been listening to alot now. RIP MJ.

DantheCoasterman's avatar

Too bad that fire didn't reach The Dragon... :)


^ Dangit, you stole what I was gonna say!

The shops and some of the buildings actually look pretty nice, it is a shame to hear some of them were damaged, hopefully not too severely.

Adventureland is an excellent small park, that is a lot of fun, especially for families, not much for enthusiasts or thrill seekers. Their ride selection is fairly large, they just lack a decent steel coaster to attract some outsiders from across the midwest. Their employees are by far the friendliest around, most of them live at the campground and work, a lot of retirees!

Dragon however is the worst abomination of steel coasters out there, and does not deserve any coaster credit you may be seeking. My ears bleed just thinking about riding that torture device.

Acoustic Viscosity's avatar

It's a great park with some decent woodies and a ton of flats and one of the best skyrides around (through the tree canopy).

AV Matt
Long live the Big Bad Wolf

Jason Hammond's avatar

And they have a Chance Rotor. :-)

884 Coasters, 34 States, 7 Countries My YouTube

I still love going to my home park each year, got to get my Tornado fix in.

It looks like the Bingo Parlor/Toy Shop is totalled from the reports and pictures shown on the local news. The fire department had a problem getting inside the park because Adventureland has that low ceiling when you first walk in.

With all this snow, it pretty much collapsed the roof of the building and then caused the fire (which is what the TV stations have reported). There were no sprinklers or fire alarms in the building so that didn't help.

There was a gun show next door at the Adventureland Inn and the people there had to be evacuated.

The park rep says that they will be ready for the season opener so that is somewhat of good news.

Last edited by crazyforcoasters,

Skol Vikings
Let's shoot us some deer Joe Joe!!!!

Jason Hammond's avatar

I posted this in the other thread before it was closed.

"Sounds like it could have been a lot worse. Glad no one was hurt. They mentioned that the building didn't have a sprinkler system or fire detection system. I am not sure what the size of the building was. But, other than restaurants, night clubs and other venues where people "assemble," stand-alone buildings under 12,000 square feet do not require sprinkler systems. Since I do not deal with detection systems, I am not familiar with their installation requirements. Though, I believe that a detection system would be required under current code."

884 Coasters, 34 States, 7 Countries My YouTube


From what I remember, the news said that because the buildings were older, they didn't require alarms or sprinklers.

My mother in law sent me an email of pictures of someone she knows who flew over when this happened, the pictures are weird to see (from the sky point of view).

I will see if I can somehow get them on here tonight.

Skol Vikings
Let's shoot us some deer Joe Joe!!!!

The latest says that heavy snow collapsed the roof and it ripped an electrical panel loose and that started the fire.

I'm guessing they'll have to rebuild by current code and spriklers and/or alarms will be required.

"Heavily medicated for your safety!"

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