4 Boys Face Charges in Huge Stadium Fire

Including first-degree arson, burglary
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 7, 2015 8:12 AM CDT
Civic Stadium burns in Eugene, Ore., June 29, 2015.   (Andy Nelson/The Register-Guard via AP)
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(Newser) – Police say four boys are responsible for the blaze that turned Eugene's historic Civic Stadium to ash in Oregon. Though five boys were spotted near the stadium's press box before the fire, only four, ages 10 to 12, will be charged with first- and second-degree arson, criminal mischief, burglary, reckless burning, and reckless endangering. The fifth boy, whose parents notified police, left the scene before the fire, police tell NBC News. Two of the boys also face charges related to a trash bin fire, reports KMTR.

Still, a detective says the blaze probably wasn't started intentionally. "They were messing around, and they were lighting some debris on fire and just being kids," he says, per the Oregonian, adding the boys fled the scene on bikes when they couldn't extinguish the flames and that there's more to figure out. "I don't know if you've talked to a 10- or 12-year-old boy recently," he adds. "You don't get a whole lot of rational information out of them." Meanwhile, the Eugene Civic Alliance, which purchased the stadium for $4.1 million in April to build a new stadium and field house, says the project will go ahead as planned. The facility is expected to open in three to five years.

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