WATERFORD TWP., Mich. -

Michelle Craft could only stand and watch as her family’s livelihood, the Lakewood Lanes bowling alley in Waterford, burned to the ground.

“It’s devastating. I mean, we’re not going to be able to go back there again. It’s hard,” Craft said.

She and her husband bought the business in 1998. The building had been around since 1930.

“We’re a family business, everyone knows us, we know them personally,” Craft.

No one was in the alley Thursday night when the fire broke out around 9 p.m.

Lakewood Lanes firefighter

Waterford Fire Marshal Matt Covey said building’s rubber roof combined with wooden lanes materials inside fueled a stubborn fire that was tough to battle.

“Once they get hot enough to start releasing the flammable vapors, it becomes a difficult fire because you’re just going to have a huge increase in your fire in terms of fire and heat,” he said.  

The building was demolished overnight as firefighters worked to quell the flames.

What caused it?

Consumers Energy said it had completed testing on the area Friday morning and determined that a natural gas explosion was not to blame for the fire.

Covey said once the scene is cool enough and debris is cleared away, investigators will be able to go in and dig for more clues.

One firefighter did suffer a shoulder injury but is expected to be OK.

Waterford Township bowling alley fire 2