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Bowling alley blaze causes $60K damage

Short circuit believed to be at fault

Firefighters from the Southbridge Fire Department use fans to clear smoke from the American Bowling Lanes building Sunday, Jan. 23, after a fire caused an estimated $60,000 in damage. David Dore. (click for larger version)
January 25, 2011
SOUTHBRIDGE — The American Bowling Lanes building caught fire Sunday, Jan. 23, at 6:30 p.m.

No injuries were reported and the fire caused an estimated $60,000 worth of damage, according to the Southbridge Fire Department.

"I was told it was a short circuit in the electrical box," said Steve French, head mechanic at American Bowling Lanes, on 123 North St., for more than 30 years. "We don't know exactly how much damage has been done yet. I wasn't there when it happened. I got a phone call from a buddy of mine that lives across the street that the fire department was here. We're closed today and it's up to the electrician to say how long we will be closed for."

The call came to the Southbridge Fire Department at roughly 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 23. The fire department's Group 1, led by Lieutenant John LaRochelle, responded to the call. The group reported heavy smoke coming from the building upon their arrival. The firefighters were let into the building by the employee that was there when the fire began.

The Fire Department was at the scene for an hour. The fire is being investigated by Scott Peck, the department's fire and arson investigator. Firefighters returned to the scene on Monday morning, Jan. 24, to further assess the situation. Peck and firefighter Christopher Wilson make up the other members of Group 1.

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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