‘Suspicious' Fire Burns Down Abandoned ‘Just for Fun' Roller Rink in McHenry

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An abandoned roller rink in suburban McHenry caught fire late Thursday evening, causing the once popular establishment to collapse as high winds fueled flames, fire officials said.

The McHenry Township Fire Protection District responded to the scene just before 10:30 p.m. at 914 N. Front St. after being alerted to a building on fire. The flames had already engulfed the old Just for Fun roller rink, as Battaliom Chief David Harwood said strong winds made things worse for firefighters.

"MTFPD crews began a defensive fire attack by applying water to the building using
deck guns on several engines, three truck companies using aerial devices and several large diameter hand lines," Harwood said in a statement.

Crews from more than a dozen neighboring departments were called in to help with the blaze, which burned for several hours.

It wasn't until 3:30 a.m. that the fire was "mostly extinguished," officials said.

"The building is a total loss and has collapsed," Harwood said.

No injuries were reported but the fire is being investigated as "suspicious," officials said.

The roller rink, which also has a location in Mundelein, closed in September 2020 after more than 70 years. The Mundelein location remains open, however.

"We are deeply saddened that McHenry has lost such a historic building to a fire," the rink posted on Facebook. "As some of you may recall, we closed our McHenry location last fall; however, so many of us in the McHenry Community have such heartfelt memories that were made in this building."

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