High school baseball field doused in gasoline, set on fire in attempt to dry it faster

High school baseball field doused in gasoline, set on fire in attempt to dry it faster
Police are unsure if anyone will face charges after 24 gallons of gasoline were poured on the Ridgefield High School baseball field and set on fire. (Source: WTNH/CNN)

RIDGEFIELD, CT (WTNH/CNN) - A high school baseball field in Connecticut needs repairs after police say it was set on fire in a reported attempt to warm up the infield before a game.

Police are investigating but are unsure if anyone will face charges after the Ridgefield High School baseball field was set on fire Saturday morning. Video shot by a teacher reportedly shows the moment after 24 gallons of gasoline were poured on the infield and set ablaze.

"It had rained the night before, [and] there was a scheduled baseball game... [that] was delayed due to the wet field. It is an active investigation into who instructed, if anybody instructed, in regard to warming the field with fire,” said Police Capt. Shawn Platt.

When the fire started burning, someone among the families gathered at the field ran across the street to the police department and notified authorities.

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection's hazmat group was called. Gasoline-soaked soil had to be tested and removed. It’s a process that will cost the town thousands.

"I’d like to see somebody pay for it, rather than me. All the people who stood around and thought it was a good idea, it would be nice if they all chipped in and paid for it,” one resident said.

The field will be closed for the remainder of the week as testing is done on the soil. Meanwhile, neighbors have been left wondering why the incident happened.

"By now, everybody knows you don't pour gasoline on the soil. You think everybody knows," said a resident identified as Phil.

Even those who can understand the pressure of getting the field ready in time still have concerns.

“I get it to a certain degree, but at the end of the day, the decision was not well thought out,” resident Evan Schreiber said.

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