WEST MANCHESTER TOWNSHIP, Pa. (WHTM) — The moment the roof collapsed into a York County skating rink was caught on camera Sunday night in West Manchester Township.
It’s still unclear what started that fire that firefighters fought for several hours in the snow, then pouring rain.
abc27 talked exclusively with Frank Quintin, the owner of Mr. Q’s Family Skate Center.
He’s devastated and so are longtime customers and employees.
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“When I came at 4:30 this morning there was like four areas that were just burning in there but they just let it burn out and then they came and tore down these walls,” Quintin said.
Mr. Q has been in the roller rink business for a long time.
“We’ve been trying to carry on the family thing since 1969 and we loved it here,” Quintin said. “We had our all our rink family, got the kids have been coming by here all day that normally skate here every week.”
It’s been a roller rink for five years and before that, it was a bowling alley built in the 50s.
“It’s a local landmark. Between Lincolnway Bowling many years ago, many of my friends have reached out and said they had a lot of memories here growing up in West York,” said customer Michael Barley, whose daughter had a birthday party there just a few months ago.
“Her friends have had parties here. They absolutely love getting together and roller skating,” Barley said.
Monday night, tears were shed as employees and customers comforted one another.
“All day I’ve had kids that have come up just you know standing here staring at it crying. It’s heartbreaking,” Quintin said.
The fire is still under investigation, but state police say nothing criminal in nature was initially found.
One thing that was found: a fry basket.
“They said we’re going to put it in the rink, put a plaque on it. It’s a remembrance for us,” said Penney Quintin.
Mr. Q says the support online and in-person means a lot.
“It’s been touching. I mean, I like I say I feel for all of them. I’m sad and you know, I’m sure I’m gonna rebuild because I don’t have–This is my life,” Quintin said. “This has been my life since I was a kid. I grew up, all I ever wanted to do is work in the rinks.”
Mr. Q did have insurance on the building, but he’s not sure how much will be covered.
A GoFundMe has been set up to help too.