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Oct 15, 2012 11:18 PM by Steven Albritton

Kaplan Fire Destroys Three Buildings, Including Youth Skate Rink

The fire in Kaplan not only destroyed an MMA training center and a thrift store, but also the Extreme Wheelz Skate Rink. It was a place where hundreds of kids in Kaplan came to enjoy their weekends. Patches Bell has owned the rink for the past two years. It's been in the family for much longer.

"I basically became a parent to all of Kaplan's community kids. I'm Momma Bell. It's all the community kids had, and now its gone. They have nothing," Extreme Wheelz owner Patches Bell said.

One mother says it was one of the few things kids in the area had to do on a weekend.

"Friday's and Saturday's. This is where the kids were. This was the only hangout they had. This was all they had left," Tabitha Chreene said.

Chreene's son planned on having his birthday party at Extreme Wheelz in January. For other kids, they saw their usual weekend routine burned to the ground.

"It meant a lot to us because it was a fun place to hang out with your friends and meet new friends," Tory Riggs said.

"We didn't want it to burn down so we really didn't believe it. When we saw that it was really burned down. We were just in shock," Sasha Rudd said.

Bell plans to rebuild the rink. One of her smallest customers is even trying to lend a hand.

"This little girl came up to me and she said Miss Patches, I'll give you all my birthday money so we can fix it to get it back running. I love the skating rink."



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