It’s fire season

by Bob Johnson 0

From Indiana to Wisconsin to New Jersey, bowling center fires are in the news.

INDIANA: Silver Creek Lanes in Sellersburg, Ind., about 10 miles north of Louisville, Ky., had been undergoing renovation. On Tuesday, a fire that began in the center quickly spread to adjacent businesses in the Silver Creek Plaza shopping center.

Destroyed, in addition to the bowling center, were a bar and grill, a bakery, a sandwich shop and a hair salon.

No injuries were reported, and the cause of the fire was not immediately known.

WISCONSIN: The Last Stop Bowling Alley in Fond du Lac, Wis., was destroyed by fire early this morning.

Reports described the center as "a total loss."

No one was hurt as a result of the fire, and WTMJ reports that a number of homes near the center were evacuated as a precaution. Local Red Cross volunteers assisted the temporarily displaced families.

NEW JERSEY: Steven Smink, accused of hiring two individuals to burn down a bowling center, has been freed after posting $400,000 bail.

Smink, manager of Pike Lanes Family Fun Center in Deerfield, N.J., is alleged to have paid two individuals between $200 and $300 each to torch a rival center. That center, Loyle Lanes in Vineland, N.J., was destroyed by fire on Jan. 11.

Bob Johnson

Bob Johnson has received more national writing awards than any other bowling writer — close to 70 over the course of his 40-year career. He began at age 16 as a staff writer and then assistant editor for the weekly Pacific Bowler newspaper in his native California, and within three years was writing feature stories for Bowlers Journal. He has written for the magazine ever since, except for a five-year span when he was hired as the founding editor of another magazine. He moved to Chicago in 2000 and spent 13 years in the Windy City, including five as Bowlers Journal’s Editor. In 1975, Johnson received the Robert E. Kennedy Award as California’s top undergraduate high school journalist. Five years earlier, on the lanes, he had shared the Bantam Division Doubles championship in the Orange County Junior Bowling Association Championships. Today, he continues to work full-time for Bowlers Journal as its Senior Editor, to write his popular “Strikes Me” column, and to edit Luby Publishing Inc.’s weekly business-to-business Cyber Report.

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