Bowling alley damaged in blaze to stay closed during repairs

A fire did nearly $200,000 in damage to the Bowlarena Lanes on Tuesday, June 13.

JACKSONVILLE, Onslow County - A popular bowling alley in Jacksonville will remain closed for several days still following a fire Tuesday night that caused nearly $200,000 in damage.

The Bowlarena Lanes off of Western Boulevard already had summer programs in full swing, with the temporary closure leaving parents and kids alike disappointed.

"I was really really surprised," patron Ashleigh Campbell told NewsChannel 12. "My first thought was obviously I hope everybody's safe. My second thought was, 'Oh my gosh I just paid $30 for my family to go bowling for the summer!'"

That has been a common refrain for many parents who count on places like the bowling alley to provide a place of safe entertainment when their children are out of school.

Bowlarena Lanes management says they do not have a definitive reopening date, but hope to be ready to begin taking customers again by the end of next week.

Officials with the Jacksonville Fire Department say the investigation points to careless welding as the cause for the blaze. JFD Chief Jerry Hardison estimated the total cost of damage at $190,000.