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Massive Fire Engulfs Gatorland
Local6.com ^ | 11/6/06 | staff

Posted on 11/06/2006 6:32:12 AM PST by Rb ver. 2.0

ORLANDO, Fla. -- A massive fire at one of Central Florida's oldest attractions, Gatorland, engulfed the park's gift shop and damaged other surrounding offices and structures, including the well-known alligator mouth entrance Monday, according to Local 6 News.

"A fire of this magnitude would be dangerous to fight in any situation but now you have to throw in the fact that there are dangerous animals inside -- alligators that are more than likely spooked by the commotion," Local 6's Jessica Sanchez said.

Park official, Heather Goodwin, said firefighters were able to keep the fire contained to the gift shop area and apparently flames were not able to spread to areas where alligators and other larger animals were being held at the park.

"The fire is in the gift shop, predominately, and no one has been injured," Goodwin said. "We are not aware of any animals that have been injured at this point but we did have some small salamanders in the gift shop that, of course, we imagine are gone."

Goodwin said the gift shop was not being renovated and she had no idea how the fire could have started.

She said the large mouth entrance apparently was destroyed by flames.

"I can't see through the smoke right now but it doesn't look very promising for the mouth," Goodwin said. "It is a tragedy with these historical structures. I'm sure we can get that mouth reconstructed. Granted, it won't be exactly the same but we will have the mouth back."

Firefighters closed all lanes on Orange Blossom Trail between Gatorland Drive and Hunter's Creek Boulevard.

"Heads up if you are driving to Reedy Creek Elementary School this morning because visibility may be affected by it -- the thick smoke," Local 6's Secily Wilson said.

The investigation into the cause of the fire continues.

About 75 firefighters were trying to extinguish flames in the building at the front of the park.

Gatorland is a 110-acre theme park. It opened as a roadside attraction in 1949.


TOPICS: Extended News; News/Current Events; US: Florida
KEYWORDS: florida; floridagator; gatorland; hungry
Grilled Cajun Style Gator Tail Recipe

4 To 6 Lbs Gator Tail

Lemon wedges

Cajun Seasoning Mix:

12 T Paprika
6 T Garlic powder
3 T Salt
3 T White pepper
3 T Oregano, crushed
3 T Black pepper
2 1/2 T Thyme
1 T Cayenne pepper

To make seasoning mix, combine paprika, garlic powder, salt, white pepper, oregano, black pepper, thyme and cayenne pepper in jar with tight fitting lid. Shake well to combine. Mixture may be stored for up to 3 months. When ready to cook, cut gator tail meat into 1/2" cubes. Roll each cube in 1 tablespoon of the mixture. Cook over high heat on an outdoor barbecue grill or under the oven broiler for 4 to 6 minutes, or until gator tail meat is white and firm to the touch. Serve warm with lemon wedges. The seasoning mixture will coat up to 24 (4 oz.) servings of gator tail.

1 posted on 11/06/2006 6:32:13 AM PST by Rb ver. 2.0
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To: poobear
Ping!
2 posted on 11/06/2006 6:33:35 AM PST by Joe Brower (The Constitution defines Conservatism. *NRA*)
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To: Rb ver. 2.0
Wonder if Florida's most famous attraction survived the blaze.

"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." -Manuel II Paleologus

3 posted on 11/06/2006 6:33:35 AM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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To: goldstategop

4 posted on 11/06/2006 6:35:31 AM PST by Rb ver. 2.0
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To: Rb ver. 2.0

Gator on a stick! get your Gator on a stick, right here!........


5 posted on 11/06/2006 6:35:32 AM PST by Red Badger (ECCLESIASTES 10 The heart of the wise inclines to the RIGHT, but the heart of the fool to the LEFT.)
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To: Rb ver. 2.0
I don't mean the buildings, LOL! I meant what was inside them.

"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." -Manuel II Paleologus

6 posted on 11/06/2006 6:37:09 AM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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To: Joe Brower
Thanks Joe! Earlier I was concerned. Leave it to the FReepers to make this into an early brunch recipe thread ;D!

Gator on a stick, yummy!!

Thanks for the Pings. Voting early tomorrow!
7 posted on 11/06/2006 6:38:45 AM PST by poobear (Political Left, continually accusing their foes of what THEY themselves do every day.)
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To: goldstategop
Gatorland will be changing it's name:


8 posted on 11/06/2006 6:42:08 AM PST by Rb ver. 2.0
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To: Rb ver. 2.0

The fire may have been caused by friction: two mortgages rubbing together.


9 posted on 11/06/2006 6:46:57 AM PST by mikeus_maximus (The Red Chinese are going build MG's in Oklahoma-- that's just wrong on so many levels.)
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To: Rb ver. 2.0

That's too bad. It screamed "back roads Florida tourist trap" even though it's in the city. It's one of the weirdest tourist places I've ever been. I especially remember the gators jumping straight up out of the water around 4 feet to snare a tasty whole chicken hand-dangled by a worker -- pre-Steve Irwin days.


10 posted on 11/06/2006 6:50:43 AM PST by Semi Civil Servant (Colorado: the original Red State.)
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To: mikeus_maximus

"The fire may have been caused by friction: two mortgages rubbing together."

Insurance is the primary cause of unexplained after hours fires in commercial/industrial buildings.


11 posted on 11/06/2006 7:01:51 AM PST by Rb ver. 2.0
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Truly a classic in the world of tourist traps. I still have a can of gator chowder I got in their gift shop.

12 posted on 11/06/2006 7:01:54 AM PST by Rio (Don't make me come over there....)
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To: Rb ver. 2.0

LOL. You read my mind. I was gonna do a search for a good gator tail recipe but you beat me to it.

Now about some hushpuppies to go with that dinner?


13 posted on 11/06/2006 7:18:10 AM PST by lastchance (Hug your babies.)
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To: Rb ver. 2.0

When all is said and done, it tastes like cajun chicken.


14 posted on 11/06/2006 7:19:43 AM PST by bert (K.E. N.P. Rozerem gives me nightmares)
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To: bert

I guess they are what they eat.


15 posted on 11/06/2006 7:47:08 AM PST by Ilky Hucktar
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To: Rb ver. 2.0

The Real "Gatorland."

16 posted on 11/06/2006 7:50:23 AM PST by dfwgator
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To: Joe Brower
Update Gatorland: 2 Boa Constrictors, 2 Crocodiles perish. Not bad considering.
17 posted on 11/06/2006 9:08:48 AM PST by poobear (Political Left, continually accusing their foes of what THEY themselves do every day.)
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To: Semi Civil Servant

Well, once upon a time it was in the sticks. That overhead photo reminded me how much Florida has grown. The first time I saw that entrance, around '71 or '72, there were 2 poorly paved lanes running past each way, with a wide grass patch in the middle and pine and palmetto scrub to the horizon, broken by the occasional farm or road side sea shells and citrus stand.


18 posted on 11/06/2006 10:48:42 AM PST by skepsel
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To: dfwgator

The Swamp!


19 posted on 11/06/2006 10:50:07 AM PST by skepsel
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To: skepsel
I love the old, back highways of Florida, like Highway 1 between Cocoa and Daytona Beach and Highway 41 through Inverness. With all the little stands, motels, and various odd buildings, many now boarded up, it's a real taste of what Florida must have been like before the Interstates and Disney World.
20 posted on 11/06/2006 11:40:04 AM PST by Semi Civil Servant (Colorado: the original Red State.)
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To: Rb ver. 2.0

I've been there before. The place absolutely wreaks. The stench invades every area of the park. Most of the "dangerous" animals appear to be recovering from severe hangovers.

Shame about the gift shop, though.


21 posted on 11/06/2006 2:59:54 PM PST by DaveLoneRanger (I'm not paranoid. But everyone thinks I am.)
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To: Semi Civil Servant

All through the 50's and 60's I rode the old byways: Highway 19, Highway 41 from Atlanta to St. Pete. Always miss those days. Ever heard of the Goat Man?


22 posted on 11/06/2006 3:08:29 PM PST by groanup (We're in SBR so I'll go ahead and say it: too many damn yankees around here.)
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To: groanup

Tag line fix from another thread.


23 posted on 11/06/2006 3:10:02 PM PST by groanup (Limited govenment is the answer. Now, what's the question?)
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To: Rb ver. 2.0

Flaming gators, Batman!

24 posted on 11/06/2006 3:11:11 PM PST by OB1kNOb (This is no time for bleeding hearts, pacifists, and appeasers to prevail in free world opinion.)
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To: groanup
All through the 50's and 60's I rode the old byways: Highway 19, Highway 41 from Atlanta to St. Pete. Always miss those days. Ever heard of the Goat Man?

Nope, but I just searched and found some websites about him. He sounds like quite a character.

25 posted on 11/06/2006 3:51:50 PM PST by Semi Civil Servant (Colorado: the original Red State.)
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To: Semi Civil Servant; AnAmericanMother
I saw him many times when I was a kid. There are some Freepers who know all about him.

AAM, we're talking about the Goat Man.

26 posted on 11/06/2006 4:01:00 PM PST by groanup (Limited govenment is the answer. Now, what's the question?)
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To: groanup
For heaven's sake, I haven't thought about the Goat Man in years.

Saw him once, with his cavalcade of caprine companions . . .


27 posted on 11/06/2006 6:32:05 PM PST by AnAmericanMother ((Ministrix of Ye Chase, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment)))
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To: AnAmericanMother; Semi Civil Servant

Have you Googled him? It's amazing what's there. Thanks to scs I tried it and voila!!


28 posted on 11/06/2006 6:36:13 PM PST by groanup (Limited govenment is the answer. Now, what's the question?)
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To: AnAmericanMother

If you don't mind, I'm going to use that photograph on my home page, credits to you of course.


29 posted on 11/06/2006 7:24:46 PM PST by groanup (Limited govenment is the answer. Now, what's the question?)
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To: groanup
Feel free . . . I stole it from somebody else!

I THINK it was the Goat Man who used to carve walking sticks and sell them. I still have one.

30 posted on 11/07/2006 8:35:36 AM PST by AnAmericanMother ((Ministrix of Ye Chase, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment)))
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