Do you have a question for Mr. Coney Island? Email it to ask@coneyislandhistory.org.

I remember walking outside as a child and feeling hot ashes hitting me the day Luna Park burned down. Can you tell me the exact date and what caused the fire.

– Dolores

Hello Dolores,
Luna’s devastating fire happened on August 12, 1944. It started in the park’s scenic railway on West 12th Street, but the cause is unknown.

9 Responses to “Luna Park on Fire”
  1. Robert J. Cloney Says:

    I remember watching the “fire” from Brooklyn, we lived on Fort Hamilton Parkway in a three story walk up, we watched from the roof it was four days before my sixth birthday, I remember it well.

  2. Virginia L. Steiner Says:

    At the time Luna Park burned down, we lived on Stillwell Avenue facing the subway station. I can remember sitting at my bedroom window with my mother and sister watching the fire that burned down Luna Park. I can remember going to Luna Park and going on the water chute (the ride where the donkey pulled you up the big hill, and then you slid down. It was a magic world to me, and to this day I can remember little things about Luna Park. The circus, the smells of the concession stands, but mostly the pure joy. I grew up in Coney Island, and there was nothing that compared with the great Luna Park. Why they never rebuilt it, I will never know. Now when you go back to Coney Island even the Steeple Chase is gone, and the island has been destroyed with hugh apartment houses. I wish I could go back to the early 40′s and 50′s, when Coney Island was still a place of wonderful experiences.

  3. Chau Mui Says:

    I am working on a documentary about Coney Island for my film class in SUNY Albany and I would like to learn more about Coney when it was in its prime. I myself, am from Bensonhurst and grew up going to Coney everyday, even in the wintertime, but I was wondering if anybody could help me with memories, descriptions or history of Coney during its prime?

    Thanks!

    -Virginia, Do you happen to have any pictures of Coney from that time?

  4. Holly M Says:

    My father was a NYC fireman who fought the fire and was pictured rescuing a woman from the blaze.
    Years later, he showed me a newspaper clipping with a picture of him carrying the woman. The caption read, “an unidentified fireman….” He complained that no one asked him his name. I believe I still have the photo.

  5. Heather Says:

    Holly M. I am a reporter with News 12. Can you please call me at 917-662-6126. I am doing a story about the new Luna Park that is expected this May. I would love to see the picture of your father.

  6. Bruce J. Rindzuner Says:

    I was eight years old when the fire broke I still remember the flames. I lived on 19th Street off Mermaid Ave.

  7. Harvey Says:

    I read there were 2 fires at Luna Park in 1944……………….all I could find was the August 12th fire……….when was the first fire that year?

  8. John Says:

    This is a great historic photograph. I was wondering if there are printed or digital copies available?
    I would love to have this for may collection.

  9. oatman648 Says:

    my grand pa fought two fires at coney island. and the 1944 fire.

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