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Fire damages concession stand during Indians game at Avista Stadium

UPDATED: Thu., July 12, 2018, 11:05 p.m.

A small electrical fire was extinguished by stadium workers and an off-duty firefighter during a Spokane Indians game Thursday night at Avista Stadium.

In the top of the third inning during Spokane’s game against the Eugene Emeralds, stadium workers noticed flames and black smoke emitting from the top of the third-base concessions building.

“We’ve had a lot of interesting things happen at the ballpark, but we’ve never had a fire in the time that I’ve been here,” said Indians General Manager Chris Duff.

There were no reported injuries.

Duff said he learned of the fire from head groundskeeper Brock Slavin on his radio.

“He said that he noticed fire coming from the third-base concessions building,” Duff said. “I radioed, ‘Brock, did I hear that correctly?’

“We came out and sure enough, there’s some black smoke coming from the top of the restroom building.”

Duff said that once workers determined the fire was small, Slavin and another staff member were able to get on the roof with fire extinguishers. The game was never put on hold as a result of the fire.

Off-duty firefighter Michael Bradford was standing in the kettle corn line and noticed the fire.

“We noticed it when I was coming to get kettle corn and saw the flames that looked out of the ordinary, so the training just went into place,” he said. “Next thing you know, I was up on the roof helping to put out the fire.”

Bradford is a retired firefighter of more than 34 years from the Sacramento area. He lives in Springdale and still works part-time as a battalion chief in California.

“It was manageable,” Bradford said, “Which is why I took action, especially the way I’m dressed, not in protective clothing.

“The stadium workers were actually the ones that put it out. I more directed, which was perfect.”

Jeff Bardwell, a Spokane Valley Fire Department battalion chief, said it was an electrical fire, contained to a fan in the ceiling.

“We came in and did a little digging on it to make sure it was out,” Bardwell said. “Everyone goes home safe. Go Indians.”

The building will remain unoccupied and will air out overnight.

Duff said electricians and health department representatives will examine the stand Friday.

Duff added there was no immediate estimate on damages, which were contained to the concession stand and women’s restroom. The visitors clubhouse, which is part of the building, was not affected and will remain open.


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