Space heater sparks fire that damages a minor league Mich. ballpark

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press
A fire has destroyed multiple suites and caused part of the roof to collapse at a minor league ballpark in western Michigan.

Photo: WOOD-TV

PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) Authorities say a space heater used by a work crew likely caused a fire that destroyed multiple suites and a partial roof collapse at a western Michigan minor league ballpark.

Plainfield Township Fire Chief David Peterson says the heater started a small fire Friday morning at the Fifth Third Ballpark, but workers thought they had extinguished it. They returned to find an entire area in flames.

Peterson says a sprinkler system was deactivated earlier Friday because of a false alarm. The response also was slowed by a lack of fire hydrants.

There were no injuries.

The ballpark near Grand Rapids is home to the West Michigan Whitecaps, an affiliate of the Detroit Tigers. Whitecaps co-owner Denny Baxter says officials plan to rebuild in time for opening day in April.


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