Blog post by Randi Richardson
On the afternoon of September 27, 1951, the Airport Roller Skating Rink and a small residential home utilized by the rink for storage were completely destroyed by fire fanned by a brisk wind. The rink, which measured about 110×60 feet, was located two miles west of Bloomington. It was owned by Ernest Baldwin who previously owned and operated the airport and later converted it into a skating rink.
Baldwin had been working at the roller rink an hour or two before the fire broke out but gone to the Veterans Airport building. From there he sighted smoke billowing from the rink structure. He immediately returned to the rink and was able to save some skates but little else due to the intense heat. Four dogs were in the building when the fire started; three perished in the blaze.
Although it was determined that the fire started in the furnace room, the exact cause of the fire was not known. Estimates to replace the building are put at $20,000, significantly more than the $5,000 of existing insurance coverage.
Later that same day the Bloomington Daily Herald Telephone reported the story on page one. The article was accompanied by two pictures. A clipping of the article is available in the vertical files at the Indiana Room, Monroe County Public Library and on microfilm.