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Building at under-construction Lost Island Theme Park a total loss after large fire

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WATERLOO, Iowa (KWWL) - KWWL news is currently on scene of a fire at the Lost Island Theme Park, currently under construction at the south edge of Waterloo, near the Isle Hotel and Casino, on the south side of Shaulis Road.  

The fire began between 7-8 p.m. There are no injuries.

Eric Bertch, owner of the Lost Island, says an approximately 1500-square foot queue shelter building caught on fire at the far southwest edge of the park.

It's one of the areas where Lost Island Theme Park customers will stand in line, waiting to board a ride. Queue-style fencing is often used in those areas as a crowd barrier for park-goers waiting in line.

Bertch says the building will be a total loss. He says it appears some temporary heating caught a blanket on fire.

The fire spread quickly, and could be seen from quite a distance, as it burned out of control. The building's roof eventually collapsed. Eric Bertch says nothing will be left, except the building's foundation.

Unfortunately, the control panel for the Yuta Falls flume (log) ride is located in the building and has been destroyed in the fire. 

Bertch says he thanks the many people who called the fire department to report the fire, as no staff or workers were on the grounds at the time the fire broke out.

He says the fire will not delay the theme park's 'soft' opening in late May or early June, as it impacts just one of the many attractions.

Bertch told KWWL News says he hopes crews will be able to begin rebuilding that queue shelter as early as Monday.  

In a press release Monday morning, the Bertch family commented on the damage and next steps. 

"Yuta Falls is a family flume ride and an important part of the park," the family said. "The control system and loading station components to the ride were destroyed and will require replacement. Our crew will begin immediately inspecting and cleaning the site. We're working to secure and expedite both the building materials and the ride components from the European manufacturer."

Lost Island Theme Park Fire Web