The cause of the fire that destroyed the roller rink in Brownsdale may never be known after a state fire marshal ruled the cause undetermined.
“I am able to eliminate all natural causes for this fire, but unfortunately cannot eliminate any accidental causes. Since I cannot determine an area of origin, I am unable to identify any of the potential ignition sources,” lead investigator Steve Wolf wrote in his report. “I am also not able to eliminate an incendiary fire. Based upon a lack of motive or any evidentiary items that would support this theory, at this time I am comfortable with the owners not being involved.”
The Brownsdale Volunteer Fire Department was called about 10:50 p.m. Sept. 4 to a fire at the Rohler Rink Skating Rink, 316 Market St. SE.
The fire consumed much of the structure and firefighting efforts with an excavator also removed some of the structure.
According to the state fire marshal report, a firefighter was injured at a tanker filling operation at the Dexter Fire Station after falling from the top of the tanker and breaking or cracking four vertebrae and breaking a wrist.
Water had to be brought in from a neighboring town as “the water supply at some point was not keeping up as the water tower was almost drained.”
A second firefighter suffered minor smoke inhalation and was treated on scene.
The Austin Fire Department, Adams Fire Department, Dexter Fire Department, Rose Creek Fire Department and Mower County Sheriff's Office assisted at the scene.
This was not the first fire at the roller rink. According to the fire marshal report, the single-story wood frame commercial building that housed the rink, as well as the kitchen, bathrooms, office, concession and game areas, was built in the 1960s after a fire had destroyed the previous building.
Investigator Wolf concluded his report that the file would be closed, but his opinion on the cause of the fire could change if any new or additional information is received.