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Lost Island owner describes fire damage and next steps for theme park

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WATERLOO, Iowa (KWWL)- The Lost Island Theme Park is cleaning up and moving forward after a fire destroyed one of the theme park buildings, still under construction.

An approximately 1500-square foot queue shelter building caught on fire at the far southwest edge of the park on Thursday night.

It's one of the areas where Lost Island Theme Park customers will stand in line, waiting to board a ride.

Owner Gary Bertch said the building is a total loss, and he said it appears some temporary heating caught a blanket on fire.

"We feel fortunate that no one was hurt. That's the most important thing," he said. "This is just materials, and it'll be a bit of a setback, but we'll just look forward to bringing the ride to our guests as soon as we possibly can."

The Yuta Falls flume (log) ride's control panel and loading area were located in the building and destroyed in the fire.

Bertch said crews spent Friday inspecting and cleaning the site. He said they are working to secure and expedite building materials and ride components from the manufacturer in France.

"We will likely lose this ride for the season. We're doing everything we can to expedite the building and the ride components that were destroyed," he said. "It is too early to tell whether we'll be able to get that in time for the season, but certainly we're setback months on this ride."

He said the fire would not delay the theme park's 'soft' opening in late May or early June, as it is just one of the many attractions at the theme park.

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