By NEMS Daily Journal
OXFORD – An early morning fire left a bowling alley and bar a total loss.
The fire at The Lanes and Brass Monkey Pub and Grill on West Jackson Avenue was first reported at 3:50 Wednesday morning, Oxford Fire Chief Mike Hill said. Two ladder trucks and three engines fought the blaze until about 1 p.m.
“The entire building is gone,” Hill said. “There is nothing salvageable.”
Hill said late Wednesday afternoon that the cause of the fire was still being investigated.
The combination of the fire and a car accident on Tuesday night left many Oxford residents without water Wednesday morning.
A car struck a utility pole on Molly Barr Road around 9:30 P.M. Tuesday, knocking out power to some residents and disrupting the pumps that supply backup to the city’s water system.
When the water used to fight the fire lowered stores in the city’s elevated tanks, water that would have normally replenished those tanks could not do so, leaving parts of the city with low water pressure.
That problem was fixed by Wednesday afternoon.
While crews fought the fire, traffic on West Jackson Avenue was blocked until about about 6:45 a.m. A backhoe was used to give firefighters access to parts of the building.
The Lanes was formerly known as Kiamie’s Bowling Alley and had long been a fixture in the city.
Ole Miss Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Sparky Reardon remembered going there when he was a student during the late 1960s and early 1970s.
“I think it was special because it was large enough to hold a lot of people and it used to be the only place in Oxford that could do so,” Reardon said.
“When women had curfew, it was open until 2 or 3 in the morning, and the guys would go out there after taking their dates home and get something to eat. You would go there to celebrate the football victories. On any occasion, there would be 300 or 400 guys there.”