Pike Lanes regulars react to devastating fire - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Pike Lanes regulars react to devastating fire

Posted by: Melissa McKinney - bio | email

TROY, AL (WSFA) - To Pike Lanes regulars, news from the owner of an early morning fire went in one ear and out the other.

"First I thought was he was joking," says Blake Austin.

But when folks like Austin saw the flames for himself?

"I didn't believe it was happening."

Troy firefighters got the call the bowling alley was burning around 4am. It took an hour and a half for 30 firemen to control the blaze.

Austin says he visited the center everyday and even met his girlfriend, Brandy, there.

"We jumped out of bed and we drove up here as fast as we could. We smelled the smoke as soon as we turned onto Highway 231," says Brandy Smith.

But now this burnt building leaves behind only memories of good times.

"We bowled, we partied, we had New Year's parties, we met a lot of good people, had a lot of good fun," says Karen Langston.

Troy firefighters are calling the building a total loss, but not only that, regulars say they're losing a place that offers clean, wholesome fun.

"It's a place where kids come to stay out of trouble instead of being out in the streets, committing crimes," says Austin.

"Everybody needs someplace to go and have something to do and have fun," says Jimmy Evans.

Customers say the bowling center was built in the late 1980's.  The owner just finished renovating the property.

Now, they hope he rebuilds.

"I'll get out here.  He's done everything he could possibly think of for me, so I'd help him 100%."

It's a devastating blow for a place many call their home away from home.

State fire officials are still trying to find where the blaze started. They say the investigation could take time because of the size of the fire.

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