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Arson charges follow Civic Stadium fire

Civic Stadium

A sad aftermath to last week’s tragic fire at Civic Stadium, former home to pro baseball in Eugene (Oregon): four boys are now facing several charges, including first-degree arson and reckless endangerment, after their first court appearance.

The four 12-year-old boys are accused of starting a fire in the Civic Stadium press box and then fleeing the scene when the fire got out of control. Three are in custody at a juvenile detention center.

The subsequent blaze totally destroyed the historic structure. From the Eugene Register-Guard:

All four boys are charged with first-degree arson, second-­degree arson, two counts of second-­degree burglary, first-­degree criminal mischief, second-­degree criminal mischief, reckless burning and reckless endangerment.

Two of the boys also face charges for allegedly starting another fire in the neighborhood, possibly in a trash bin, Perlow said. Perlow did not know which of the additional charges facing the boys are related to that incident….

Eugene police said Thursday that they were looking into recent fires that occurred in the neighborhoods surrounding Civic Stadium before the big blaze to determine if the four boys played a role in those fires as well.

The ballpark, which opened in 1938, featured a large wooden grandstand. Efforts to preserve the ballpark had been going on for years, with some recent progress on the facility being converted to a soccer center. The ballpark was originally built with WPA funds as a football stadium; it was later converted to baseball in 1969.

Civic Stadium was home to the Eugene Emeralds in various incarnations until the team moved to PK Park.

Image from Save Civic Stadium Flicker page.

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