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Four Pre-teen Boys Allegedly Started Civic Stadium Fire

The fire Monday completely destroyed the 1938 wooden grandstands at Eugene's Civic Stadium.
John Stapleton
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The fire Monday completely destroyed the 1938 wooden grandstands at Eugene's Civic Stadium.

Four boys will likely be charged with 2nd degree arson for causing the fire that destroyed Eugene's Historic Civic Stadium Monday. A fifth boy came to police Wednesday morning.

Civic Stadium in flames
Credit John Stapleton
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The fire Monday completely destroyed the 1938 wooden grandstands at Eugene's Civic Stadium.

Witnesses had reported seeing a group of boys around the press box at Civic before the fire Monday evening. Eugene Police Detective Steve Williams says three of the boys are 12 and the other is 10 years old. He says they didn't give him a reason for setting the fire.

Williams: "I don't know if you've talked to a 10 or 12 year-old boy and you don't get a whole lot of rational information out of em and that's kind of what it was. Why did you do that? I don't know."

Williams doesn’t think they meant to burn down the grandstands.

 

Williams: "The boys, I don’t know if they understood the full magnitude of what it was. I think they realized, I'm sure they knew what they did was not good."

Fire crews are mopping up Tuesday after Monday's fire destroyed the wooden grandstands at historic Civic Stadium in Eugene.
Credit Rachael McDonald
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The remnants of Civic Stadium after the fire.

The fire was started with a lighter and debris in the press box. The boys say they tried to put it out and then ran away when the fire started to grow out of control. It's up to the courts what the consequences will be for the boys. Williams says their parents are cooperating and the investigation is ongoing.  

 

Copyright 2015 KLCC

Rachael McDonald is News Director at KLCC. She’s been with the station for more than 10 years. Previously, she established the Richland, Washington bureau for the Northwest News Network. She also worked as News Director at KAZU in Monterey, California. Rachael has won numerous awards for her reporting.