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Arcade fire! Blaze guts Coney funhouse

for The Brooklyn Paper
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It’s game over at the Coney Island Arcade — at least for now.

On Wednesday night, a massive fire gutted the popular hangout for neighborhood on W. 12th Street near Bowery Street in the heart of what is expected to be a revived amusement area this summer.

“I saw flames from the Boardwalk and thought it was our business,” said Kareem Cyrus, who works a few doors down at 12th Street Amusements. “I came over and saw the arcade on fire and was in shock.”

More than 100 firefighters responded to the scene a little after 8 pm, and the blaze was under control by 10:40 pm, according to the FDNY, which added that three of New York’s Bravest sustained minor injuries.

There was one fatality: the arcade owner’s cat, Targette.

“The owner loved that cat,” said Sean Conners, who also works at 12th Street Amusements. “He used to walk around with him on his shoulders.”

The cause of the fire is unknown and is currently under investigation.

Owner Manny Cohen did not respond in time for our blazing online deadline.

A day after the fire, burnt wood lay beneath the remnants of the arcade’s metal gate, and police tape enclosed the storefront. Area businesses are concerned that the burnt building will push away their own customers.

“It makes the place look like a sore thumb,” said Conners.

Despite the damage Coney Island resident Raymond Velvet thinks business will carry on as usual, especially with the summer season gearing up on the Boardwalk.

“It won’t stay closed,” Velvet said. “They’ll repair it in at least a month.”

Updated 5:18 pm, July 9, 2018
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