MERRITT ISLAND, Fla. --
A three-alarm fire broke out inside a Merritt Island bowling alley on Tuesday, officials said.
WFTV reporters witnessed smoke outside the Shore Lanes on Courtenay Parkway. Firefighters said it was a hard fire to fight. They got the fire under control Tuesday night.
Firefighters believe it started as a grease fire.
Part of Courtenay Parkway was shut down to get all of the fire trucks to the scene.
"I love this place; this is my life," said A.K. Patel, owner of Shore Lanes.
Patel watched as firefighters converged on his Merritt Island business to fight a fire burning in the attic of the 40,000-square-foot bowling alley.
Bowlers were inside Shore Lanes when the fire broke out in the kitchen of the Nameless Sports Bar & Grill.
"I love this place; I love all my bowlers. I can't see this place burn like this," said Patel.
Everyone was evacuated safely. Firefighters said the building is equipped with a fire suppression system in the kitchen, but by the time it activated the fire was already headed into the roof and attic of the building.
"It has gone through several renovations. It's a building that's difficult to navigate inside; however, we have done fire pre-planning, said Lt. Jeff Taylor of Brevard County Fire Rescue.
WFTV learned that pre-planning is done on every commercial building on Merritt Island.
That planning came in handy there as firefighters used infrared cameras to chase the fire hidden in the roof of the building.
Only smoke was visible from the street. In the end, the fire was limited to the kitchen, but the smoke and water damage will require a more extensive cleanup.
The building is insured, but the co-owner with whom WFTV spoke wasn't sure when the business might reopen.
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