By Associated Press • 

Police investigate Civic Stadium fire

EUGENE — Eugene fire and police officials are hoping to speak with three young people that were seen in the press box of the historic Civic Stadium shortly before it burned down.

Eugene Police Chief Pete Kerns says it's unknown whether the fire was a crime and that no suspects have been identified, the Register-Guard reported.

“Typically, in cases like this that have so much community interest, we learn who the people are who were seen leaving a scene like this, so we don't want anyone to be afraid to come to the police,” he said. “There's nothing to be afraid of. If there were three or four young people who were here, they might be able to help us understand how the fire started.”

Kerns and Eugene Springfield Fire Deputy Chief Joe Zaludek say the young people spotted in the press box may also have bicycled across a nearby pedestrian bridge.

Eugene police officers are asking anyone with information to contact them.

The Eugene Civic Alliance recently bought the property and co-founder Derek Johnson says the group has a $3 million insurance policy on the grandstand.

Johnson said the stadium never had a sprinkler system, but that the alliance planned to install it in the future.

Eugene Springfield Fire Chief Randy Groves had said the fire spread quickly through the dry lumber.

“The fire was advanced upon our arrival, significantly advanced, and a collapse (occurred) shortly thereafter, so the fire definitely had a head start on us,” Zaludek said Tuesday.

Firefighters put out embers that landed on a nearby building and a blood center was evacuated.

Saludek says the fire scorched some trees and that there were reports of spot fires in a residential complex.

People are being advised to use caution when handling burned materials, which may contain asbestos.

Web Design & Web Development by LVSYS