PULASKI COUNTY, Va. – The Pulaski County Parks and Recreation Department is picking up the pieces after a devastating fire destroyed the Evelyn Alexander Waterpark pool house.
Crews responded around 4:30 p.m. Friday to the fire, but it has since been deemed a total loss.
Kristy Dalton and her daughters were driving down the interstate when they saw fire trucks rushing toward Randolph Park.
”We drove to Randolph Park and pulled in. There were two police officers and one fire truck as we got there and saw that the building was fully engulfed,” Dalton said.
Seven different area fire departments responded, but after nearly two hours, the entire building was gone.
Assistant County Administrator Anthony Akers says the blaze was intense.
”It just took off like kindling wood,” Akers said.
The pool was set to open for Memorial Day. Lifeguard Alan Fernandez says he’s now out of a job.
”I was supposed to start Monday, which is crazy to me. I looked down at my phone during my girlfriend’s graduation and saw it was on fire,” Fernandez said.
Dalton worries about the kids’ camps that frequent the pool.
”I think it’s going to affect it a lot, especially with where they do the summer camps. I know the kids look forward to going to summer camp and doing the swimming and stuff during the day,” Dalton said.
The rest of Randolph Park is open, and all parks and rec sports are continuing as normal. But Akers says rebuilding the pool house is a process.
”We’re at the mercy of several things happening before we can get in there and start rebuilding so to speak, and realizing what we’re going to do with the facility itself,” Akers said.
For now, the waterpark remains closed until further notice.