Cause of Twin Oaks Lanes fire still under investigation

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    Rubble remains at the site of the former Twin Oaks Lanes in West Toledo after a fire destroyed the building.

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  • Editor’s note: This story was updated on Aug. 21 at 4:10 p.m.

    Fire officials have not yet determined a cause for the blaze that destroyed a West Toledo bowling alley.

    The fire broke out at about 4:40 p.m. Saturday at Twin Oaks Lanes, 2816 W. Sylvania Ave. 

    Toledo fire Pvt. Sterling Rahe, a department spokesman, said fires under investigation could be classified as accidental, incendiary (which could include arson), or undetermined. It’s possible, he said, the Twin Oaks Lanes fire could ultimately be listed as undetermined.

    Sharon Kuhnle, who co-owns the bowling alley with her husband, Jeff, said they heard about the fire shortly before they planned to open the business for the evening. They came to the scene and watched the building go up in flames.

    “This is not something I would wish on my worst enemy,” Ms. Kuhnle said.

    The couple have owned the business since 1999, and the bowling alley has been in operation since the 1940s, she said. She said they plan to speak to their insurance company to figure out the best way to move forward.

    On Sunday, Ms. Kuhnle came back to the scene to put a lock on the fence that surrounds the building’s remains. She noticed that the only thing that hadn’t burned were flowers she bought from the Dollar Store and put in the planters in the front of the business.

    “I don’t think the shock has worn off,” she said.

    Many customers and community members have reached out to them in support, she said.

    “God’s got us,” she said. “We’ll be all right.”

    Joe Kominek of Waterville also came by the scene to see what remained of a bowling alley he spent a lot of time in. The first time he’d ever bowled there, he said, was when he was 17 years old. His daughter celebrated her second birthday there. His family was friends with the owners’ family.

    “We loved it because it was a family atmosphere,” he said. “Everybody treated you well.”

    When he heard what happened, he was devastated.

    “It’s just another small business that’s gone now,” he said.

    In April, Mr. Kuhnle came under siege for anti-Muslim comments he posted to social media in 2016 and 2017.

    Mr. Kuhnle later met with leaders of the Toledo area Muslim community and apologized.

    Private Rahe said fire officials do not believe those posts are related to the fire in any way.

    Contact Kate Snyder at, 419-724-6282, or on Twitter @KL_Snyder.