MAYSVILLE, Ky. — The owner of the Maysville Roller Rink is determined to rebuild after gusty winds played a role in a fire that completely destroyed the building.
“It's a staple, it’s been here for generations," owner Matthew Davenport said. "My great grandparents skated in here. That's how long it’s been here."
According to a press release, the Maysville Fire Department responded to the fire on the 300 block of Lexington Street shortly before midnight on Thursday, Feb. 17. The department received reports of heavy smoke coming from the building. Firefighters began battling the fire as it spread through the rear of the building.
The department said the fire spread quickly due to high winds. Crews were able to contain the fire to the roller rink and kept it from spreading to adjacent homes and businesses.
The damage, though, was already done. Neighborhood kids walked by Monday to see what was left of the building.
“I didn’t think it was true,” Lamarcus Conner said.
Conner said he frequented the rink that has been open since 1954 and has fond memories of his time there.
“Just all of our friends gathering up and coming here on Fridays and Saturdays to come here,” Conner said.
Firefighters were still at the building hours after arriving, waiting for excavation equipment to arrive so it could access smaller, hidden fires underneath the roller rink floor. The department reported no injuries and the cause of the fire is under investigation.
Davenport said the building is a Maysville staple. Generations of families have used the rink for fellowship and to celebrate major milestones.
“It's a happy place. It’s not like going to school, you can be a kid, and it’s hard to find a place like that,” said Davenport. “This is some child's out on the weekend. This is how they get away from things that are going on that they don’t want to be around.“
That's why Davenport is pushing so hard to clean up the rubble and to focus on rebuilding the rink, but he says there are still a lot of unknowns.
“Yes, we have insurance on the building and its contents, but the question is can we rebuild in this location? We don’t know that,” Davenport said.
Now it’s a waiting game. Davenport said adjusters are coming out to the rink this week to assess the damage. He’s leaning on the community guidance from the city of Maysville as he looks to the days ahead.
“It’s like a person,” he said. "It’s like losing a really good friend.”
Anyone who wants to help Maysville Roller Rink rebuild can donate through PayPal. A t-shirt fundraiser has also been started. Information can be found here.
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