Elkhorn Bowling Alley Fire

Elkhorn Lanes, an iconic landmark of Elkhorn, NE. burned to the ground in the first week of January, 2010.  The temperature was in the single digits and the winds were gusting at 30 mph when the fire broke out in the kitchen after it had closed.  It took the firefighters until noon the following day to put out the fire.  The photojournalist in me wanted to go record the event that night, but I was too safe and content in my warm cozy home.    So, I went to the site the day after the fire was put out.

The Rubble

This is a scene of the rubble still left after about two weeks of clean up.  I took the shot merely for the sign.  I wanted to remember this sign and this place, as it held so many memories for me and my family.

Shear Artistry - main entrance

Not too much to this shot except for the irony of the billboard in the background, which was an ad for a local hair styling salon.

Newspaper Rack, inside main entrance

Surprisingly, there was full access to the inside of the burned out shell of the bowling alley when I got there the day after the fire was extinguished.  No boarded up doors and windows, no yellow crime-scene tape draped all over the place, nothing but ice left by the fire hoses.   This newspaper rack was right inside the front entrance.

Goodness Gracious, Great Balls of Fire!

With extreme caution, I walked through the main entrance to get a look at the inside.  It looked like the roof had caved in, nothing but broken trusses, insulation hanging everywhere, icicles hanging everywhere, and the acrid smell of smoke.   The only color in the entire scene were these bowling balls, which oddly enough, were still round.  I didn’t stay very long.

The owner of Elkhorn Lanes was an avid Big Red fan, and parked his “party buses” behind the bowling alley.  After the fire, it looked like they were encased in an iceberg.

Fire and Ice

The parking lot was coated with six inches of solid ice, as was much of the building.   I thought the sun, hidden behind the chimnet cast an eerie shadow on the west side of the building.

Thought for the dayI never drink water because of the disgusting things that fish do in it.  W.C. Fields

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