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Fire destroys building, bleachers at ball park

by Chris Daponte

MOOREFIELD - What should have been a great weekend for Drayton-Moorefield Minor Ball was marred by a fire at the ball diamond that destroyed the scorekeeper’s booth and a section of bleachers.

 

At 4am on June 19, just hours after the Moorefield ball diamond hosted another successful custom car show, the Mapleton Fire Department re­ceived a call about a light standard on fire.

Fire Chief Rick?Richardson said firefighters were surprised  upon their arrival to discover it was not a light standard, but the entire scorekeeper’s building and an eight foot section of bleachers that was up in flames.

It took just four minutes to extinguish the blaze, but the damage had already been done.

“Four little posts and a stairway was all that was left,”  Richardson said.

In addition to the obvious loss, the fire also destroyed an electrical panel, which means the ball diamond is temporarily without lights for night games and also without power in the nearby food booth.

“It’s still under investigation,” Richardson said, adding fire department officials are working closely with the OPP to determine if the blaze was purposely set by someone or if the cause was electrical.

The latter is the more likely explanation, Richardson hinted, but he stressed it is now in the hands of the OPP and the length of the investigation de­pends on what police determine was the actual cause.

Several hours after the fire, township staff cleared all the debris with a backhoe and brought in sand in preparation for Drayton-Moorefield Minor Ball’s first ever minor ball day on Saturday.

The township owned the scorekeeper’s building, electrical infrastructure and the bleach­ers at the park, but the scoreboard and equipment stored in the building were the property of the Moorefield Athletic Association, Rich­ardson explained.

At a council meeting on Tuesday, public works director Larry Lynch said the township’s facilities manager is working with the Moorefield Athletic Association on short and long-term solutions to the lighting and electricity issues.

The preliminary plan, he added, is to re-build the scorers booth, but at the ground level and not raised with access via stairs like the old structure.

 

 

Vol 43 Issue 26

 
 

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