An early morning fire that heavily damaged a Waterloo bowling alley is being investigated as an arson.

Fire Chief Pat Treloar says the fire at Maple Lanes Bowling Center, 2608 University Ave., appears to have been intentionally set by someone who broke into the building and assaulted an overnight custodian.

Firefighters from Waterloo, Cedar Falls and four surrounding communities responded to the fire shortly after 4:30 AM. Treloar says firefighters were able to contain the fire to the front part of the building, but there is heavy smoke damage throughout the bowling alley.

Waterloo Police Information Officer Joe Leibold says authorities believe more than one person was involved in the break-in and assault, but they don't yet know who was involved.

Leibold says investigators are also trying to determine if anything was taken from the bowling alley.

Leibold says the custodian received minor injuries in the assault.

Investigators are asking anyone with information to contact Waterloo police at 319-291-2515 or Cedar Valley Crime Stoppers at 855-300-TIPS (8477).

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