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Issue Date: Vol. 53, No. 10, October 2013, Posted On: 10/1/2013

Whac-A-Mole Inventor's Warehouse Leveled In Explosion

Hank Schlesinger
TAGS: Jefferson St. Orlando, arcade game, Whac-A-Mole Creative Engineering Inc., Aaron Fechter, explosion

ORLANDO, FL -- An explosion on Sept. 26 destroyed a warehouse at 47 W. Jefferson St. in downtown Orlando, startling local residents and delaying two Amtrak trains. It also startled many longtime members of the coin-op community. The warehouse was home to Creative Engineering Inc., founded by Aaron Fechter, who invented the iconic arcade game Whac-A-Mole in the 1970s.

According to local press reports, the blast was a result of a new cooking fuel Fechter was working on called carbohydrillium. The fuel, Fechter's promotional material claimed, was said to burn "cleaner" than propane.

Nobody was hurt in the blast, though much of Fechter's workspace, which included production of animatronic figures used in the Chuck E. Cheese's and ShowBiz Pizza Place franchises, was destroyed. Fechter, said local authorities, is cooperating with the investigation.

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