Masters Bowl, one of the premier haikyo sites in Omuta, Japan, caught fire today. Traffic was backed up on both sides of the large main road as fire and police vehicles took over the small parking lot and locals looked on.
Witnesses reported a large column of black smoke when the fire was first discovered. The odor of burning plastic spread throughout the neighborhood.
About 30 police, fire, and safety officials were on the scene. An ambulance was present just in case, but officials said there were no injuries among the firefighters and no one had been inside Masters Bowl at the time of the fire. Reportedly, the flames started in some refuse which had been left in the building’s parking area.
About 45 minutes after officials arrived, the fire was out and they dispersed. Although the building didn’t burn down, it seems likely to be demolished now that it has proven to be a fire hazard.
The age of Masters Bowl is unknown, but based on technology (telephones, game machines) and newspapers found inside, it’s thought to be at least 20 years old. It appears to have been abandoned around 2008.
Later in the evening, a few uniformed officials returned and were seen searching the inside of the bowling alley with flashlights.
The pictures below were taken for an amateur haikyo blog in November 2013. They show the dilapidation of the building and the accumulation of garbage in the parking areas. (To avoid disposal fees, in Japan people often dump so-called “big garbage,” such as mattresses, as well as dangerous waste such as paint thinner and oil cans, at abandoned sites.)