Rogersville police seek information about City Park arson

Jeff Bobo • Apr 2, 2013 at 8:02 AM

ROGERSVILLE — The Rogersville Police Department is seeking help from the community to solve an arson that occurred in a City Park restroom near the ball fields.

Rogersville Fire Department Chief David Jackson said one of his members was walking with his family in the park around 7:25 p.m. Sunday when he noticed smoke coming from the ball field concessions building behind the Parks and Recreation main offices.

The firefighter reported smoke coming from the roof and the restroom on the west side of the building.

The Rogersville Fire Department was on the scene within three minutes, and Jackson said quick response time prevented the fire from doing significant damage.

The fire was apparently set in a women’s restroom garbage can. Another stroke of luck was that the fire melted an overhead PVC water pipe, which burst and helped contain the fire to that one room.

“Flames got through the ceiling and into the attic area,” Jackson said. “It did damage to the rafters. The roof is tin, and it just buckled the tin and took the paint off of it.”

There was also water damage in the women’s restroom and smoke damage throughout the building.

Vandalism has been an ongoing problem at the Rogersville City Park, and due to past incidents there were some video surveillance cameras installed.

Police are checking video footage, but Jackson noted that there aren’t any cameras in the immediate vicinity of the ball field concession/restroom building.

RPD Detective Charlie Gibson is heading the investigation. Anyone with information about the fire is asked to call the RPD at 423-272-7555.

Rogersville Parks and Rec Director Brice Lackey didn’t have a dollar figure for the damage as of Tuesday. He said the women’s restroom will be closed until repairs can be completed, but there are Porta Potties available at the ball fields.

Business is about to pick up at the City Park because baseball tryouts are this Saturday, and baseball leagues will begin in about two weeks. The concession stand will be open, and Lackey said he’ll try to have the restroom open in time for the season.

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