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Fire Sweeps through Prudhomme’s Landing

Also See: Tivoli Miniature World

Article Source: The Spec

VINELAND – Tim Smith had five minutes to get out and pray flames did not destroy his home and paintball operation when fire struck the fabled long-closed amusement park at Prudhomme’s Landing this morning.

Smith the owner of Niagara Tactical Adventure Games on the site, didn’t argue when Niagara fire fighters came knocking just after 3 a.m.

The old Victoria Hall dance hall built on the 1940s on the site was already in flames.

Smith said the hall was broken into just last week, a harbinger of today’s suspicious fire.

His home and business escaped damage because it is detached from the hall.

The major blaze has severely damaged what remained of the fabled amusement park water park at Prudohmme’s Landing . Niagara fire fighters were still putting out hot spots at 8 a.m..

The blaze has destroyed the old Victoria Hall on site. A rising pall of smoke above the near-derelict site north of the Queen Elizabeth Way at Victoria Avenue North caused a major distraction for morning traffic as motorists slow to gawk until firefighters had the blaze under control just after 6 but traffic is now moving freely.

The fire has ironic significance for Niagara fire fighters Deputy chief Greg Hudson said the department used to have their member appreciation dinners in the old hall in its heyday.

There have been no injuries reported.

Fire officials say the cause is suspicious and Ontario Fire Marshal’s investigators will be on site this morning. Constable Jacquie Forgeron, spokesperson for the Niagara police said the service’s arson unit will assist the OFM where needed.

No cause has been determined for the blaze, which appears to have destroyed the original 1940s dance hall – once a miniature world attraction and most lately a paint ball gaming facility – on the site.

No estimate of damage is available.

It is not clear exactly when the fire was reported early this morning, but flames were said to be jumping 25 metres in the air because the blazing d dance hall was fully involved.

At least half a dozen fire trucks including an aerial ladder battled the blaze.

The 90-acre park site, which included the Wet N’ Wild Waterpark, closed in 2002.

At its height, the park boasted a mountain with water slides, bumper cars and a variety of amusement park rides including a Tilt-a-Whirl.

A number of plans have been discussed recently for the site, including a housing project or a big-box retail development.

The amusement park started out as a small water park on a man-made hill near Jordan.

It was located behind Victoria Hall, a 40s-style dance hall. It originally had two or three water slides but eventually came to have a wave pool, two water slides, a lazy river, and a tube ride.

The amusement ride section included Bumper Boats, Bumper Cars, Go-Karts , and a “Tilt-A-Whirl”. A miniature train was also there in the Miniature World attraction.

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3 Responses
  1. RBN says:

    How sad, I was just there on Saturday to see what had become of the place. Was not aware there had been a fire there recently. Got lots of great pics of what’s become of the place. Check out my site if you’re interested…

  2. jc says:

    It is sad to see what has happened to prudhommes landing over the years since 2002 but it is very suspicious how just about every building on the 90 acre property has burned to the ground. First the water park, then the old hall, now burger king. What is left is only the paintball, hotel and Tim Hortons. Only the buildings that were abandoned or empty have burned to the ground on the site. As they always say money talks. Because the owner wasn’t making money on those buildings, they were burned to the ground and he gets to collect the insurance money instead.

    As long as we have the hotel open, which is full of illegal immigrants and the government pays for, as well as Tim Hortons and the paintball arena they will remain. If they ever become empty for whatever reason they too will end up with the same fate as the other buildings. All these fires were for profit and once everything there is gone, the owner will sell the property to the highest bidder. Most likely for condos or some other big money development.

  3. Ron says:

    Prudhommes has been a mecca for arsonists since the 1960s. I remember the big one (1965 or 1966) that killed the night watchman.

    Back then, Prudhommes was a monster. Old man Prudhomme built a really neat place. Famous people would do their acts there. I was told Sinatra sung there. It had underground passages between the buildings and more that a few shady characters.

    But from the big fire and on, the place just went downhill. The old man died soon after.

    A history of the place would make for a good photo album.

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