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Targette, the Sister of Target the Coney Island Arcade Cat.  Photo © Charles Denson

Targette, the Sister of Target the Coney Island Arcade Cat. Photo © Charles Denson

In our post about yesterday’s devastating fire at the Coney Island Arcade Building, we wondered about the fate of the cats who lived there.

Charles Denson just wrote with the good news that Target escaped the fire when the firemen cut the gates, and the sad news that his sister Targette (aka Targeretty) died in the fire. The firemen found her in the office where she probably died of smoke inhalation. Here’s Charlie’s portrait of her.

We’d been taking pix of Target the Coney Island Cat since 2007, but had never glimpsed his shy sister until this year. Targeretty would hide out in the office of the Coney Island Arcade while the gregarious Target made his rounds of the arcade and games and rides on the Bowery. Target will miss his little sister.

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March 27, 2010: Target the Coney Island Arcade Cat Is On Twitter!

July 21, 2009: Target the Coney Island Arcade Cat Introduces His Sister Targeretty

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Firefighters sawing into Coney Island Arcade thru the shutters to access fire.  Photo © Adam Richman via twitpic

Firefighters sawing into Coney Island Arcade thru the shutters to access fire. Photo © Adam Richman via twitpic

On the Coney Island Message Board and twitter, witnesses who live in the neighborhood began reporting a two-alarm fire at the Coney Island Arcade Building at West 12th Street and Bowery last night at 8:15 pm. The anonymous contributor who sent us the photo below said there were 7 fire trucks. The cause of the fire is unknown, but the FDNY scanner transcript reads: “20:42 hours – Duration 37 minutes. FieldCom: Transmit a 10-41 code 2 (Suspicious Fire, Vacant Structure), heavy volume of fire on arrival.”

The Coney Island Arcade and adjoining games are operated by Manny Cohen, who was attending an amusement expo in China. We’re greatly concerned about the damage to the building and his arcade business. One observer of the fire speculated: “The building structure is destroyed. They will need to build a new building there.”

We’re also concerned about the fate of the Coney Island Arcade’s beloved cats, Target and Targeretty, who live in the arcade. We frequently take photos of Target the Cat. Has anyone seen him or his sister? People on the scene informed the firefighters about the cats. We’re told that one of the cats was seen escaping from the building. (UPDATE: We just learned the sad news that Target’s sister Targette aka Targeretty died in the fire.)

On the Coney Island USA Message Board, the poster Coney Island Kid wrote: “I noticed the fire engines at approx. 8:15PM. looking toward W 12th St, I saw flames coming from the roof of the arcade at W 12th and the Bowery. Earlier today I saw workmen on the roof of that building applying a new layer of tar paper. The fire, from what I could see started inside, not on the roof.”

Coney Island Arcade, May 2, 2010. Photo © Jim McDonnell. Jimvid via smugmug

Photo taken a few days before the fire: Coney Island Arcade. May 2, 2010. Photo © Jim McDonnell. Jimvid via smugmug

On twitter, Adam Richman (mfbucket) reported “Firefighters sawing into coney island arcade thru the shutters to access” and “Smoke so thick u can’t see to the corner.” Photographer Bruce Handy told us by phone that the FDNY used a circular saw or acetylene torch to cut through the metal shutters. “The fire was stubborn because it was between the roof and the ceiling,” he said. “The firefighters had to cut open the roof to get at the fire.”

The firefighters also cut through the windows of the former Bank of Coney Island, which is next door to the arcade. But people on the scene said the arcade building was the only building damaged by the fire thanks to the fine work and fast response time of FDNY 161 and 153! The Coney Island Arcade Building is owned by Jeff Persily. Thor Equities owns the Bank of Coney Island Building, which is under threat of demolition.


Photo by Coney Island Photo Diary via flickr

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April 29, 2011: Burned Coney Arcade Building Finally Being Demolished

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May 7, 2010: Photo Album: Coney Island Arcade Fire’s Awful Aftermath

May 6, 2010: R.I.P. Targette, the Coney Island Arcade Cat’s Shy Sister

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Target the Coney Island Arcade Cat on Opening Day 2009. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Target the Coney Island Arcade Cat on Opening Day 2009. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Coney Island’s 40 rides and diverse attractions start up again for the 2010 season in just one day! Since we work in Coney, it’s been so hectic getting ready for opening day that we haven’t had a minute to blog. Not so with Target the Coney Island Arcade Cat

Our favorite cat has started microblogging as ConeyICat via twitter! But he has quite a ways to go before he catches up with Sockington, a Massachusetts cat with 1.5 million followers! Please follow Target if you are on twitter. His latest tweet:

Target the Coney Island Arcade Cat Has Something to Say...  Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Target the Coney Island Arcade Cat Has Something to Say... Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Also opening on Sunday…Coney Island’s Cyclone Roller Coaster, Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park (22 rides), McCullough’s Kiddie Park (a dozen rides), 12th St. Amusements (Polar Express and 4 other rides) and the Eldorado Bumper Cars.

The annual Blessing of the Rides is set for 11:00 am at Deno’s Wonder Wheel. Then at 12 noon, Borough President Marty Markowitz will break a bottle of homemade egg cream on the Cyclone’s first car as the Hungry March Band toot their horns in celebration. The first 100 people to arrive to the party will ride the Cyclone for free. The Coney Island History Project on Surf under the Cyclone will host an Open House from 12-3 pm. Free admission to one and all!

For more info on what’s open in Coney Island and a listing of upcoming events, sign up for the Coney Island Fun Guide newsletter or follow them on twitter.

See you tomorrow, March 28th at 12 noon?

Manny Cohen of Coney Island Arcade with his World-Famous Cat Target.  © 2010 Manny Cohen.  All rights reserved

Manny Cohen of Coney Island Arcade with his World-Famous Cat Target. © 2010 Manny Cohen. All rights reserved

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February 3, 2010: New in 2010: Coney Island Fun Phone Addition to CI Fun Guide

January 26, 2010: Scoop: Zamperla’s $24M Coney Island Park to be Named Luna Park!

July 21, 2009: Target the Coney Island Arcade Cat Introduces His Sister Targeretty

June 4, 2009: Coney Island Ride Count: Veteran Ride Ops 40, Joe Sitt 10!

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Target the Cat in the Basketball Game, Coney Island. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Target the Cat in the Basketball Game on the Bowery near Jones Walk, Coney Island. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Coney Island Arcade operator Manny Cohen, who owns Target the Coney Island Arcade Cat, sent us this photo of our favorite Coney cat and his sister Targeretty. Although we’ve been taking pix of Target since 2007, we’ve never even glimpsed his shy sister.

Portrait of Target and Targeretty, the Coney Island Arcade Cats.  Photo © Manny Cohen.

Portrait of Target and Targeretty, the Coney Island Arcade Cats. Photo © Manny Cohen

Targeretty hides out in the office of the Coney Island Arcade while the gregarious Target makes his rounds of the arcade and the games and rides on the Bowery. Target is also the official mascot of the flickr group Coney Island is Alive and Kicking and Welcomes Visitors in 2009!

Target the Cat at Home in the Coney Island Arcade.  Photo © Manny Cohen

Target the Cat at Home in the Coney Island Arcade. Photo © Manny Cohen

At the beginning of the season Jimmy was interviewed for a story in the NY Times and Target’s photo was featured in the slide show along with pics of the world famous Cyclone Roller Coaster and the Wonder Wheel. I’ve taken enough photos to make a flickr set called Target the World Famous Coney Island Arcade Cat. But fame hasn’t changed Target one bit. Before the parade got started on Mermaid Day, I found Jimmy and Target working together as usual in the Balloon Dart.

Target & Jimmy Waiting for Customers. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Target & Jimmy Waiting for Customers. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Target the Coney Island Arcade Cat Stretching. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Target the Coney Island Arcade Cat Stretching. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Target the Cat Playing with a Prize. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

Target the Cat Playing with a Prize. Photo © Tricia Vita/me-myself-i via flickr

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