Breaking News Blog

Sunday, Jul 14 2013 01:16 PM

Fire causes $50,000 damage to Ridgecrest youth baseball facility

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BY THEO DOUGLAS Californian staff writer tdouglas@bakersfield.com

A fire early Sunday caused $50,000 in damage to two buildings at the Kerr McGee Youth Sports Complex in Ridgecrest, destroying sports equipment used by the Indian Wells Valley Youth Baseball Association.

No injuries were reported in the 3:20 a.m. blaze, according to Kern County Fire Capt. Sean Collins.

When Kern County firefighters arrived at the northwest corner of West Church Avenue and South Downs Street, they discovered two buildings on fire.

A burning one-story building was located approximately 600 feet from a burning two-story building. It was fully engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived and sustained extensive damage.

The two-story building had a concession stand on the bottom floor and office space on the top floor.

Firefighters placed a ladder in the second-story window of the building and began attacking the fire from the outside.

The fire destroyed the top floor, while the first floor sustained moderate water damage.

A member of the Indian Wells Valley Youth Baseball Association said that the group held games at the sports complex and used the two-story building to store its equipment.

"The city owns it, but it was our stuff that was inside," said sponsorship director Sarah Yoder, characterizing the building as a snack bar and a clubhouse.

The fire at the two-story building burned "all of our equipment," Yoder said via phone as she visited the scene. She had no estimate of the association's financial loss.

Yoder said the one-story building that burned is across the street from the association's clubhouse. It is on the east side of South Downs Street, north of West Church Avenue, she said.

The baseball association's board of directors planned to meet Sunday afternoon to discuss the fire, Yoder said.

Both blazes were knocked down after a 40-minute battle Sunday morning, and an investigator is looking for clues.

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