Zamboni Catches Fire Driving Across Rochester Ice Rink in Viral Video

Spectators at an ice rink in Upstate New York, witnessed scary scenes on Wednesday when a Zamboni machine that was cleaning the ice caught on fire.

The incident unfolded during a youth hockey practice at Bill Gray's Regional Iceplex on the campus of Monroe Community College in Rochester, Monroe County.

Multiple videos of the incident were posted on social media, showing the machine cleaning the rink before smoke begins to emerge from the engine. The operator can then be seen inspecting the machine, shortly before flames erupt from the Zamboni to the astonishment of spectators.

Here’s the video version.

— Russ Bitely (@russbites) October 15, 2020

NBD. Just 2020 being 2020 at local Rochester rink tonite.

— Russ Bitely (@russbites) October 15, 2020

The operator swiftly moved the machine away from the ice and swiftly put out the fire. Fortunately for everyone involved, the fire caused little more than a scare as the players were off the ice and nobody was hurt.

According to Rochester ABC-affiliate WHAM-TV, the arena management confirmed the incident was caused by a broken hose on the back of the Zamboni, which leaked hydraulic fluid on the ice as the machine was being operated. Shortly after breaking, the hose caught on fire.

The incident in Rochester isn't the only instance of a Zamboni machine bursting into flames. In 2007, a Zamboni machine caught fire while cleaning the ice at the Ice Works arena in Aston, Pennsylvania.

According to reports at the time, the issue was also caused by a hydraulic fuel leak on the ice.

"We had the fire, a hazmat spill, and had to evacuate the building all at once," Green Ridge Fire Department captain Sean Joyce told Philadelphia CBS-affiliate WPVI-TV at the time.

"Usually ice will take care of it [the fire], but not here tonight."

Zamboni machines take their name from their creator, Frank Zamboni, and have been regular feature in ice rinks across the world for more than half a century. The NHL first used the machine to clean and smoothen the ice during games in the early 1950s.

While not all ice resurfacing machines are actually produced by Zamboni, the brand name has become so popular and synonymous with the them that it has become used as a general term.

The Zamboni's popularity increased significantly from 1980, when Peanuts comic strip creator Charles M. Schulz first began incorporating the machines into his comic strips. In the same year, the Zambonis also made an appearance in a Peanuts TV special entitled She's a Good Skate, Charlie Brown.

The show, the first Peanuts TV special of the 1980s, aired on CBS.

Zamboni machine
[File photo] An ice resurfacing machine floods the ice prior to the game between the Montreal Canadiens and the Boston Bruins at the Bell Centre on November 5, 2019 in Montreal, Canada. On Wednesday, spectators at an ice rink in Upstate New York witnessed a Zamboni machine catch fire. Minas Panagiotakis/Getty