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You could smell the smoke as you approached the 70-year old structure on Del Paso Boulevard on Sunday morning. Dozens of firefighters looked to put out the five-alarm fire, but it was too late.
ICELAND, the historic North Sacramento ice skating rink located on Del Paso Boulevard, burned down this morning leaving only its four main structural walls and iconic marquee standing.
"This is probably the biggest icon that remained in terms of an entertainment venue in North Sac," said Robert (Bob) Slobe. "It's a shame."
According to early reports, ICELAND was open Saturday night until 12am for a private party. The fire started at 3:30am around a car parked behind the ICELAND facility. Fire crews worked to prevent the blaze from spreading to adjoing structues.
ICELAND was built by the Kerth family in the late 1930s in conjunction with their other business, American Ice Company. The rink played host to iceskating, ice hockey, and ice shows. Former President and California Governor Ronald Regan skated at the facility, as did former boxer Max Baer.
The facility just installed a $68,000 roof last year.
Slobe hopes ICELAND is not torn down like the Del Paso Theater, which burned down 20 years ago in August of 1990.
"There were efforts to rebuild the Del Paso Theater," said Slobe. "The problem there was the market is not there for single screen theaters anymore."
Slobe hopes the facility can be rebuilt.
"I don't know anybody from this part of town, probably any part of town that's my age, who hadn't been there, skated there, learned to skate there, and had their kids skate there," said Slobe.