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.
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.
The roof of the building has completely burned off and the flames are starting grow. pic.twitter.com/WXVqVLlb44— Areeba Shah (@areebashah_) August 18, 2018
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.
Guidelines: Please keep your comments smart and civil. Don't attack other readers personally, and keep your language decent. Comments that violate these standards, or our privacy statement or visitor's agreement, are subject to being removed and commenters are subject to being banned. To post comments, you must be a registered user on toledoblade.com. To find out more, please visit the FAQ.