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Colossus Catches Fire At Six Flags Magic Mountain

By on 09/08/2014

I usually don’t mind when I accurately predict something, especially when it comes to theme parks, but today was an exception. The Colossus roller coaster at Six Flags Magic Mountain caught fire today as workers were busy working on it. Based on work I saw yesterday that had already been been done, I was concerned about them catching the structure on fire as they continued doing the same work, and called it out in my Twisted Colossus construction update:

Colossus_burns

Colossus has been closed since August 17th, as the park transforms it into a wood/steel hybrid coaster, and fortunately the park was also closed to the public today. Nobody was hurt in the incident and the park does not expect it to impact the opening date for the new ride.

Here are some photos that I took about 30 minutes after the main fire was extinguished:

Colossus_fire_4

There were still lots of firefighters on scene and a bit of smoldering from down on the ground:

Colossus_fire_2

This is how much of the lift hill collapsed during the fire. If you look just to the left of bottom-center, you’ll see some blackened timber hanging from the structure. You can also see here, as well as in the previous photo, some of the damage that was caused to the lower structure when the collapse occurred. The white structure is no longer uniform:

Colossus_fire_3

Here’s another angle, better showing some of the residual smoldering from the ground:

Colossus_fire_1

I hate to say I told you so, but…

34 Comments

  1. Rusty

    09/08/2014 at 5:09 pm

    Wow! I’m blaming this on you Kurt, you jinxed it!

  2. steve

    09/08/2014 at 5:10 pm

    I guess you were right Kurt. I was thinking yesterday that the blackened areas were from grease from the lift hill chain from all the years of use. But i was wrong.

    • CoasterGuru14

      09/08/2014 at 9:37 pm

      Grease is EXTREMELY flammable, either way, it spelt disaster

    • CoasterGuru14

      09/08/2014 at 9:38 pm

      Sadly, tons of conspiracy theories exist already that this was an attempt to milk their insurance, if anything, this is a lesson learned for RMC

      • Alex

        09/09/2014 at 10:33 am

        Someone said this was to milk their insurance.. Total BS.. This sets them back a few days/weeks if anything. This was a stupid accident no doubt but I’m having a hard time believing it was more then that. This was a scary call by Kurt too. Of course a cutting torch was the wrong way to go as the wood is saturated in grease. A dozen or so guys were up there working and not one of them thought about that?

      • Scott C.

        09/09/2014 at 10:59 am

        SFMM would risk insurance fraud?!?!? No freakin way.

        • benjamin

          09/09/2014 at 11:18 am

          Actually when a ride is being build the entire area is covered by the builders own insurance. Employees of the park are not allowed in the area during construction (that includes security) o the fire is no out of pocket expense for the park and if it delays the rides opening then RMC has to pay a fine for each day the ride is late.

  3. randie

    09/08/2014 at 5:38 pm

    It seems as though nobody was hurt which is obviously the most important thing. But, i noticed you said that this incident won’t hinder the projected opening date of the ride. Has this been confirmed by the park already?

  4. Matthew romine

    09/08/2014 at 6:10 pm

    You jinxed it kurt

  5. Justin G

    09/08/2014 at 6:36 pm

    Colossus looks so wrong with the top of the lift missing.
    Maybe this aids the transformation…

  6. Dean

    09/08/2014 at 9:36 pm

    So will they just rebuild the hill or redesign the top of it?

  7. Dane

    09/08/2014 at 10:09 pm

    Well on the bright side it was coming down anyway.

  8. Eric

    09/08/2014 at 11:35 pm

    And to think I just rode this a few weeks ago!

    Oh well…in the end, I think everything will be OK. Of course there will need to be some replacement of wood, but this isn’t so bad. As Kurt said in this report, the park doesn’t feel like this will be a major setback—and they would know best. This damage could be repaired while another part of the ride is being worked on.

    Thank you, Kurt, for one of the best reports on this story.

  9. Matt

    09/08/2014 at 11:43 pm

    This could easily have spread to more of the structure if not for the fast and effective reaction of the firefighters, good work by them. Hopefully Rocky Mountain will take more care in its fire prevention standards.

  10. chilton schilling

    09/09/2014 at 2:30 am

    Has RMC worked on an older roller coaster before? The wood is so old that im sure can catch fire a little faster than other wooden coasters. 36 year old wood well since its been apart of colossus. The wood was once trees and who knows how old the trees were before they were cut down. Old wood for sure

  11. Domingo

    09/09/2014 at 6:36 am

    Park looks all sad and quiet closed lol…. but glad everything is ok

  12. benjamin

    09/09/2014 at 7:38 am

    Well if it was going to happen I am glad it happend on the top of the lift and not on the bottom of any of the drops or worse yet in the last turn-around after the 3rd drop. On a lighter note, maybe RMC will introduce a new element….the JUMP! 🙂

  13. Scott C.

    09/09/2014 at 4:00 pm

    Wow…some media reports on this…Check this out. Talk about exaggeration.

    https://www.yahoo.com/travel/six-flags-colossus-roller-coaster-goes-up-in-flames-97061506472.html

  14. john

    09/09/2014 at 9:21 pm

    No surprise here another classic example of six flags half assing important things, common sense don’t use metal torch cutters near wood !

    • The Coaster Guy

      09/09/2014 at 9:48 pm

      Six Flags had absolutely nothing to do with this. It was all on the contractor.

      • RollerCoasterCentral

        09/09/2014 at 10:01 pm

        Why does everyone get mad at Six Flags for everything? IDK it just seems like Six Flags has gotten a lot of BS the last few weeks.

    • Johnny

      09/10/2014 at 9:17 am

      You sound like the GP!

  15. Eric

    09/10/2014 at 8:00 pm

    You could almost build a pre-drop drop in that newly opened space. 😉

  16. Eric

    09/11/2014 at 1:51 am

    I linked to this story on my Facebook page in response to a post from a friend. But I got to thinking…if I use any of your photos anywhere, be it on Facebook or in my blog, would you prefer that I credit them to “The Coaster Guy” or use your given name?

    • The Coaster Guy

      09/11/2014 at 6:12 am

      If you just link to a story, you don’t need to worry about it. If you pull photos off my site to use elsewhere, please credit them to TheCoasterGuy.com.

      • Eric

        09/11/2014 at 12:46 pm

        Thanks for the info. I’ll keep it in mind.

  17. Matthew

    09/13/2014 at 8:18 am

    Will there be an update this weekend?

    • The Coaster Guy

      09/13/2014 at 8:50 am

      I hope so, but my wife has a bunch of my time already booked up doing other things. I’ll do my best to get over there for a quick update.

  18. Charles

    09/13/2014 at 10:58 pm

    Thank you Kirt ” the coaster guy” I found this site on account of a friend told me it caught fire, great pictures. and imfo. Companies are run by owner’s who watch the profits to be made, and hire the lowest bid subcontractors who want to clean-up on small amount of labor hours to get it done, and collect a lump sum on for the hours they do not have to pay employees, the worker with the torch, and the safety supervisor on that job should have known better, It was a preventable accident, this could have been a total loss, with serious injuries. Take pride in workmanship instead chasing a dollar. I rode the colossus on the first day it was opened, and on august 16
    I also rode the LB pike “Cyclone Racer” in 1967, I liked colossus as it was, yes it needed fixing and a track upgrade, I hope that I will be surprised after it opens next year. Thank again for your site and the pictures, it brought back memories from years ago.

  19. Roger

    09/14/2014 at 6:43 pm

    Surprised they didn’t have a fire watch crew with the welding (cutting) crew.

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