Firefighters were called to a Jersey shore amusement park Monday afternoon after a ride caught fire and sent a plume of smoke billowing above the boardwalk.
Smoke could be seen billowing from the Gravitron ride at the Keansburg Amusement Park Monday afternoon in Keansburg.
No one was on the ride and no one was hurt, officials said.
A spokeswoman for the amusement park, owned and operated by a New Jersey family for 111 years, told NBC 4 New York a park employee had started up the ride for a test run and to prepare for the day when he "smelled something."
"He alerted our mechanic, the mechanic went to go get a tool and in that time, there was a small electrical fire," she said.
Moments later, a fire tore through the ride and black smoke filled the air. The park was quickly evacuated.
Spokeswoman Katie Johnson praised the employee who detected the smoke, saying "he knew something wasn't right and he alerted the necessary people in our organization."
Waitress Jackie Chastain was working nearby when the fire broke out.
"We were all freaking out because we thought everything was going to catch fire," said Chastain.
WItness Debbie Holmes said, "We were so relieved, we just prayed that no child got hurt."