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Businesses Bordering Bowling Alley Praise Firefighters

Tiffany Eckert

The Eugene-Springfield Fire Department is being praised today (Thursday) for saving the two businesses closest to the Southtowne Lanes Bowling Alley that was completely destroyed by fire Wednesday. KLCC's Tiffany Eckert spoke with business owners as they assessed the damage.

Dave Nelkin owns Eugene coin and jewelry. A day after the fire, staff were packing up merchandise so that they can begin cleaning up the smoke and water damage.

Nelkin: "The firefighters did a fantastic job. I have tremendous admiration for them. Their goal immediately was to save our building and Down to Earth building."

Credit Tiffany Eckert
Owner Dave Nelkin and staff clean up the front room of Eugene Coin and Jewelry.

A co-owner of down to earth sat just inside the store amidst soaked carpet and chunks of charcoal. Brenda Ray Black says they are busy dealing with insurance adjusters and she's grateful for the firefighters. Southtowne Lanes is a complete loss. Only a cement shell remains. Lanny Thomason has run the bowling alley for 28 years. August is the company's anniversary month.

Thomason: "We were gonna retire here so now, we're probably not gonna rebuild so we've gotta do something else."

Credit Tiffany Eckert
Lanny Thomason owed Southtowne Lanes for 28 years.

Thomason was out of town when the fire was discovered by an employee around 4pm Wednesday. He says he's grateful no one was hurt.

Tiffany joined the KLCC News team in 2007. She studied journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia and worked in a variety of media including television, technical writing, photography and daily print news before moving to the Pacific Northwest.
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