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Fire crews rush to Ohio theme park for smoke reported at indoor roller coaster; 2 treated

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CINCINNATI - A southwest Ohio theme park ride was evacuated Monday and two people were treated at the scene after heavy smoke filled a building.

Authorities said the smoke came from an overheated motor inside the Kings Island indoor roller coaster ride building, Flight of Fear. A city of Mason spokeswoman said 18 people were exposed to the smoke, and two received treatment but weren't transported.

City spokeswoman Jennifer Trepal said fire crews responded to a report of a structure fire at about 2: 45 p.m. in the suburban city some 25 miles northeast of Cincinnati. Crews from nearby jurisdictions also rushed to the scene. She said the motor was "smoking heavily," but wasn't on fire.

Power was shut off to the motor, and the building was cleared and ventilated. Kings island closed the ride, which dates back two decades.

"Kings Island emergency personnel responded quickly, and guests were safely evacuated from the ride," Kings Island spokesman Don Helbig said in a statement. "As always, the safety of our guests and associates remains our No. 1 priority."

Kings Island draws some 3 million visitors a year and has been expecting a big summer, behind its new inverted roller coaster Banshee. The park is owned by Sandusky-based Cedar Fair Entertainment Co.

Helbig said park officials hadn't decided yet when the ride would resume operation.

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