Blaze burns old bowling alley

Photo Credit: KHQA file photo

A fire gutted an old northeast Missouri bowling alley Thursday afternoon.

The suspicious blaze ripped through the condemned Shelbina Bowling Alley, which had been closed for years.

The fire was reported around 1:30 p.m.

Assistant Fire Chief Allan Wilt told KTVO the blaze is considered "suspicious" because there was no electricity in the building.

He said because damage was so extensive, an investigator from the Missouri State Fire Marshal's Office will not be called in.

Wilt said the Shelbina Police Department will investigate to see if anyone saw any suspicious activity around the building prior to the fire.

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For safety reasons, crews used heavy equipment to knock down the building's unstable brick walls Thursday.

Fire departments from Shelbina, Shelbyville and Monroe City battled the blaze.

They were on the scene for eight hours.

Years and years ago, the building used to be the Morgan Wagon Factory and Feed Store.

Part of the old building had collapsed last fall. Another section caved in last month.

The City of Shelbina was planning to demolish the structure in the coming weeks.

The city had received a $210,000 emergency demolition grant from the state.

(KHQA's Rajah Maples provided the video for this story.)