Wonderland co-owner Andrew Stuart says the fire next to his business and its aftermath have resulted in a rollercoaster of emotions.
“Standing across the street watching something your family’s spent their whole life building and working at, just on the verge of being engulfed and destroyed by flames — it’s kind of overwhelming to say the least,” Stuart said.
On Wednesday, a massive fire completely destroyed Lang’s Café in Regina, located right next to Wonderland Entertainment Centre, which has been in business for 41 years.
The family said there must have been a halo protecting their business, though. The beloved arcade was spared from flames, but water from the firefighters’ hoses seeped through the ceiling and across the floor.
“It looked kind of like a skating rink in here. Probably a few inches of water on the ground,” Stuart said.
Andrew Stuart, co-owner of Regina’s Wonderland arcade, said many of the vintage games were found sitting in water. (Micki Cowan/CBC)
The family is grateful the building didn’t catch fire but are now dealing with their own losses due to the water damage.
“Some of the older vintage arcade games, the wood absorbing the water — if we can’t get the smell out or the moisture out, then those machines and equipment will probably be a loss,” Stuart said.
Some of the machines are more than 30 years old, making them hard to replace, he said.
“There’s not many other arcades in this province, let alone Canada, that sell old equipment. It’s not like they can just make you a new one.”
Buckets catch water dripping from the ceiling after a fire ripped through Lang’s Café, next to Wonderland Entertainment Centre. (Micki Cowan/CBC)
The family said the business was insured and so they are now waiting for an assessment to be completed.
Stuart said the support from patrons has been appreciated and the family plans to make repairs and reopen.
“Hopefully, see everybody again soon.”