Duckpin bowling alley torn down after fire
GLEN BURNIE -- A duckpin bowling alley near Crain Highway and Baltimore-Annapolis Boulevard destroyed in a five-alarm fire Friday afternoon was torn down yesterday, as fire officials estimated damage at $3.5 million.
Battalion Chief Gary Sheckells, a spokesman for the Anne Arundel County Fire Department, said the cause of the blaze at the Greenway Bowling Center was not known.
He said it started in a concealed open space behind the mechanical pin-setters on the second floor. Early this week, investigators will interview customers and the owners of the center, built in the late 1920s as a bus garage.
The blaze was discovered shortly before 4:30 p.m. by a man walking along Crain Highway. He ran into the bowling center and told the patrons flames were shooting from the wooden roof.
None of the occupants was injured.
Chief Sheckells said the building did not have sprinklers, and because it was built before sprinkler regulations took effect, it was exempt.
Two firefighters were injured in the blaze.
Lt. Mike Tewey sprained his hand and Firefighter Eric Hughes suffered bruised ribs when a "smoke explosion" on the second floor sent them tumbling down a staircase. They were treated at North Arundel Hospital and released.
Volunteer firefighter seriously injured in fall
EDGEWOOD -- A volunteer firefighter in Harford County was injured when he fell 50 feet from a railroad bridge into Winters Run early yesterday while responding to a fire on the bridge, officials said.
Jeffrey Harris, a firefighter-paramedic with the Joppa-Magnolia Volunteer Fire Company, was in serious condition yesterday at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, where he was transported by MedEvac helicopter.
Mr. Harris fell into the stream before 2 a.m. while fighting a blaze under the bridge, which is owned by CSX Corp. Harford County Sheriff's Deputy John J. Miner and a train conductor, Myles N. Turnbaugh, descended a steep bank to enter the stream and pull him ashore, according to Fire Chief Thomas J. Eser III.
The conductor was operating a freight train that was halted by the blaze.
Bob Thomas, Maryland deputy chief fire marshal, said his office was investigating the fire as an arson, but the cause had not been determined and a damage estimate was unavailable.
A CSX official said rail traffic was delayed for about three hours, but the fire did not cause serious damage. The bridge was reopened after the fire was extinguished.
Response mixed at forum on year-round schooling
ELLICOTT CITY -- A Howard County forum on year-round education yesterday brought out more than 200 curious citizens, who left with mixed reactions to the idea.
Some parents who attended the forum in Ellicott City said they needed more information about year-round education, a national trend that has attracted Gov. William Donald Schaefer's attention as a possible alternative to costly school construction.
The forum, believed to be the first of its kind in the state, came as the governor was pushing school districts to test year-round education as early as the next school year.