Wednesday, Sep 19, 2018
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Police & Fire

Investigators determining cause of Twin Oaks Lanes fire

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    Toledo firefighters battle a blaze Saturday at Twin Oaks Lanes.

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    A call late Saturday afternoon reported a structure fire at Twin Oaks Lanes.

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    Toledo firefighters battle a blaze Saturday at Twin Oaks Lanes.

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    Toledo firefighters battle a blaze Saturday at Twin Oaks Lanes in Toledo.

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    Saturday's fire at Twin Oaks Lanes in Toledo.

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    Toledo firefighters battle a blaze Saturday, August 18, 2018, at Twin Oaks Lanes in Toledo.

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    A call late Saturday afternoon reported a structure fire at Twin Oaks Lanes on Sylvania Avenue in Toledo.

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    A crowd gathers near Twin Oaks Lanes as Toledo firefighters battle a blaze.

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    Toledo firefighters battle a blaze Saturday at Twin Oaks Lanes.

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    Crews battled a fire Saturday afternoon at Twin Oaks Lanes in Toledo.

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    Toledo firefighters battle a blaze Saturday, August 18, 2018, at Twin Oaks Lanes.

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    People watch as Toledo firefighters battle a blaze at Twin Oaks Lanes.

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    Toledo firefighters battle a blaze Saturday.

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    Owners Jeff and Sharon Kuhnle, seated, are embraced in support as a fire burns Twin Oaks Lanes in Toledo Saturday.

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    Smoke plumes over the nearby neighborhood as Toledo firefighters battle a blaze Saturday at Twin Oaks Lanes.

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    Fire can be seen over nearby houses.

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    Toledo firefighters received a call on a fire late Saturday afternoon at Twin Oaks Lanes in West Toledo.

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    Toledo firefighters battle a blaze Saturday at Twin Oaks Lanes.

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    Toledo firefighters battle a blaze Saturday, August 18, 2018, at Twin Oaks Bowling Alley in Toledo.

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    Fire broke out Saturday at Twin Oaks Lanes in West Toledo.

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    Larry Shuman, center, turns from the fire as Toledo firefighters keep his home and garage from burning.

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    Firefighters were called to Twin Oaks Lanes in West Toledo Saturday afternoon.

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    Firefighters were called to Twin Oaks Lanes in West Toledo Saturday afternoon.

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    Toledo firefighters battle a blaze Saturday in West Toledo.

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    Larry Shuman, center, turns from the fire as Toledo firefighters keep his home and garage from burning while they battle a blaze at Twin Oaks Lanes.

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    Neighbors watch Saturday's fire at Twin Oaks Lanes.

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    Toledo firefighters battle a blaze Saturday, August 18, 2018, at Twin Oaks Bowling Alley in Toledo.

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Investigators are working to determine what caused a Saturday afternoon fire that gutted a West Toledo bowling alley. 

A call came in at roughly 4:40 p.m. regarding a structure fire at Twin Oaks Lanes at 2816 West Sylvania Ave. Heavy smoke could be seen pouring from the building while traffic was blocked in both directions. 

The blaze started to clear up roughly two hours later after more fire crews arrived on scene.

Battalion Chief Bob Krause said the fire crews did everything they could to suppress the fire, but more importantly, they prevented it from spreading to surrounding buildings.

“The original building was lost, but what their hard work did was prevent it from running down the street and burning down the houses that were right behind them,” Mr. Krause said.

VIDEO: Pvt. Sterling Rahe, Toledo Fire & Rescue

The owners of Twin Oaks Lanes, Jeff and Sharon Kuhnle, arrived at the scene after learning about the fire from the owners of Twin Oaks Cleaners. They declined to comment. 

Michael Jasinski, 50, who lives near the business, said he noticed the smoke as far as two blocks away.

“[This] was a major event in of itself,” he said. “They’re risking their lives to extinguish the flames.”

As firefighters worked to extinguish the flames on the roof, neighbors and others gathered nearby to watch. 

Another neighbor, Monisca Sosbe, 41, saw the smoke and came to see what was happening. Her family has a history of bowling at Twin Oaks.

“It's sad because it’s a close bowling alley,” Mrs. Sosbe said. “I’m sure a lot of people are going to gather to help them build it if they decide to.”

Twin Oaks had its grand opening on Dec. 7, 1941, the day of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor that brought the United States into World War II.

The bowling alley was named for two oak trees in front of the building. One was destroyed during the Palm Sunday tornado of 1965. The other, weakened by thunderstorms, crashed to earth hours before Sept. 11, 2001.

Many of Twin Oaks' trappings, including 12 alleys made of wood, were considered rarities in an era of mega bowling centers.

The Kuhnles bought the business in 1999.

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