Everybody is reportedly fine after a group of kids playing ice hockey were confronted with a ice resurfacing machine, commonly known as a Zamboni though this one is a different brand, and its operator completely engulfed in flames doing a lap of the rink earlier this week.
This story was originally published on October 16, 2020
Surreal video footage from the cameras within Bill Gray’s Regional Iceplex captured the moment the machine and the long-time employee piloting it seemingly spontaneously combusted into flames on Wednesday, Oct. 14. Here’s the footage via 13WHAM News on YouTube:
According to local reports, the driver miraculously reported no injures despite clearly being engulfed in a significant amount of fire for quite some time as he slowly fled the ice rink, a trail of wet resurfaced ice in his wake.
Twitter user @russbites uploaded a different angle on the incident from the rink-side seating, with one awestruck kid asking for all of us, “How is he on there?”
Management claims a hose for hydraulic fluid ruptured and leaked over the hot engine and exhaust, which led to the flames.
The skating facility released a statement championing Jordan, the operator of the Ghost Rider, for quickly navigating off the ice and towards a method of extinguishing the flames, which he quickly did:
“While multiple safety systems are in place throughout our entire facility to protect both staff and guests (in this instance, and most notably, fire suppression systems), the quick actions of our staff member single handedly prevented this incident from one worse than it was,” said Chris Woodworth, General Manager of the Iceplex. “With the safety of all in mind, and acting without hesitation, Jordan rushed the machine off the ice surface, and extinguished the flames within seconds. Words cannot express the appreciation we have for Jordan, his quick thinking and heroic actions. Not all heroes wear capes, and in this instance, the hero just happened to be driving an ice resurfacer.”
Update: Zamboni, the company that originally developed and manufactured this type of ice resurfacing machine, has publicly distanced itself from this fire, as the model in the video is not produced by the Zamboni brand. However, that is still the term commonly known and used to refer to this type of vehicle, so we’ve left it in with note for clarity.
There have been numerous improper references to ZAMBONI in connection with an unfortunate incident in Rochester, NY on Wednesday, October 14th. The ice resurfacing machine seen on fire in the photos and videos which were shared online was not manufactured by the Zamboni Company and should not be referred to as “a Zamboni”, which in and of itself is an improper reference, as a noun.
We appreciate the numerous posts by members of the public where they have taken the opportunity to point out that it was not a Zamboni brand ice resurfacer, illustrating the awareness that use of the brand name (ZAMBONI) as a generic product descriptor is incorrect.
Not a joke.