DES MOINES, Iowa -- A massive fire destroyed a 60-year-old north side landmark in a matter of minutes.
Firefighters were called to Plaza Lanes just after 5 a.m. on Monday morning after a passerby noticed smoke coming from the building. When crews arrived on scene, the building was engulfed in flames.
Randy Thompson, owner of Plaza Lanes, calls the damage devastating.
"It was surreal. This morning when we got here, the flames were coming out of the roof. It was pretty emotional," he says.
Thompson's late father built the lanes in 1957, and Thompson has already announced plans to rebuild the bowling alley in his father's honor and for his customers.
"What will be will be, and we plan on rebuilding. It will be twice as nice as it was before. It will be brand new."
Investigators are unsure what caused the fire, but say the way the building was built and what was inside caused the fire to spread more quickly.
"You have wide open space. You have the bowling lanes themselves that are obviously wood and are made of flammable material and combustible coverings that they are coated with," says Des Moines Fire Department spokesperson Brian O'Keefe.
Along with local investigators, federal agents are on scene due to the amount of damage and size of the property.