UPDATE: The indoor ski slope at the American Dream mega malls in the Meadowlands will remain closed until at least the end of this coming week following a fire that drew nearly 20 companies before dawn Saturday.
“We can promise you that Big SNOW will be back and better than ever, just as soon as we can safely do so,” an Instagram post by the company read. “At this point, we are uncertain of how long that will take.”
Firefighters doused the electrical blaze, which caused severe fire damage to the roof and ceiling and smoke damage elsewhere in the East Rutherford attraction after breaking out around 4:15 a.m.
No injuries were reported.
Responders said attacking the fire at the 16-story ski slope just off the NJ Turnpike was similar to battling a high-rise blaze. They pointed to heavy-duty air conditioning units that maintain temperatures inside the slope at 28 degrees.
Having knocked the bulk of the blaze down by 6 a.m., firefighters opened the roof to check for flame pockets.
“They are actually starting to tear the roof up,” one of them said around mid-morning. “They started bringing heavy equipment in.”
Colleagues from Carlstadt, East Newark, East Rutherford, Elmwood Park, Lodi, Lyndhurst, Nutley, Secaucus, Mahwah, Moonachie, Passaic, Rochelle Park, Saddle Brook, Wallington, Wood-Ridge and Jersey City joined members of the Meadowlands Fire Department either in rotation at the scene or in coverage.
According to New Jersey State Police Sgt. Alejandro Goez:
“The fire at the American Dream was reported at 4:15 a.m. inside the Big Snow ski slope. The fire was contained to the top of the ski slope and several area fire departments responded to extinguish the fire. The building was unoccupied at the time and there are no injuries reported. Preliminary investigation revealed that the fire has been deemed nonsuspicious at this time.”
A notice on the Big SNOW American Dream site Saturday morning read:
“Please note that Big SNOW will be closed today, Saturday September 25th. We apologize for this inconvenience and any disappointment this unexpected closure may cause for those guests who were planning to visit today. If you had a pre-purchased reservation, we will be refunding your order. We look forward to welcoming you back to Big SNOW soon. Please contact [email protected] with any additional questions.”