Reporting Bree Sison
GOFFSTOWN, NH (CBS)- A Babe Ruth League in New Hampshire will need some help getting back on its feet, after a massive fire destroyed its equipment shed. Firefighters think lightning may have started the fire Saturday night.
The shed sat next to Allard Park, a ball field used by the league for decades. About 80 kids from all over New Hampshire play on the field. Inside the shed were batting cages for kids to practice during the winter, as well as bats, balls, helmets, pitching mounds and equipment bags.
“We like to have some inventory on hand because you have some less fortunate kids that can’t afford that type of stuff,” said League President Kevin Baines as he surveyed the damage on Sunday. Nothing was salvageable.
Baines says the loss goes beyond just the baseball basics. The building also served as a money-maker for the league when they host clinics for area players. The most immediate challenge for the league will be repairing the ball field’s infrastructure once housed in the barn. The electricity to the concession stand and the irrigation system for the field are now out of order. Replacing those systems alone could cost thousands of dollars.
“Going forward it will be a financial setback for us obviously,” said Baines. The league didn’t carry insurance on their equipment because they say it didn’t make sense given the cost.
The barn itself was also uninsured. The Allard family lost property of their own in the fire, but say they knew the risk involved with storing expensive tractors in the old building. In the 1970’s, the property was a dance hall Aerosmith once played at. The facility is tucked away in the woods of Goffstown down a private dirt road.
“Baseball is huge in Goffstown and I feel confident the community will rally around us,” said Baines. The league posted a statement to its website Sunday.