Crews battle fire at Wichita’s Joyland

Local

Wichita fire crews battled a fire early Thursday morning at the old Joyland Amusement Park near Hillside and Wassall.

Officials tell KSN the fire started at the Whacky Shack. As of 7 a.m., crews were still battling some small fires.

“Was there somebody in there is there still somebody in there?” asks Wichita Deputy Fire Chief, Stuart Bevis. “So we have to respond and  do what we do… even if a caller tells us there’s nobody inside, we still have to be thorough.”

Bevis says when crews arrived, the Whacky Shack was fully engulfed. He also says Joyland has seen fires in the past few years.

“We’ve seen several fires in several different structures,” says Bevis.

One city council member says he would like to see something done with the property.

James Clendenin says the has looked at developers for the property but the land remains privately owned.

“I’m frustrated because I hear from the neighborhood. I hear from neighbors all the time about the conditions over on this piece of property,” says Clendenin. ” So the city has had environmental court cases in the past on it. It has kind of a colorful history there. There have been many people interested in buying the property, it just hasn’t worked out for one reason or the other.”

 Bevis says with all the overgrown vegetation and the remnants of old buildings, fire crews have had trouble fighting some fo the fires.

“it’s an old, overgrown piece of land,” says Bevis. “There’s a lot of dangers out there. In some of our responses out there we have damaged some of our equipment because of hidden poles hitting, puncturing tires.” 

Right now, the cause of the fire hasn’t been determined. 

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