There was some unexpected excitement during the Marshall County Dusters' victory over Western North Carolina in the first round of the Senior Babe Ruth Southeast Regional Tournament on Thursday night at Joe George Field when the football concession stand behind the left field fence caught on fire.
With two outs in the top of the second inning, smoke began to billow out of the concession stand and play was halted before the Lewisburg Fire Department was summoned to put out the fire inside the building with Capt. William Lynch being in charge of the operation.
Although there were several bystanders near the building when the fire broke out, no one was seriously injured before firefighters extinguished the blaze.
According to Lewisburg Fire Department Chief Larry Williams, the fire was started accidently and he credited Marshall County Emergency Medical Service worker Richard Medley's quick thinking for making the fire easier to contain for his firefighters.
"We think it was accidental. Someone went to turn on the lights for the baseball field and accidently turned on the stove. We believe the bread racks that were laying on top of the stove bumped into the button that turns it on. They caught on fire quick because they're made of plastic," said Williams. "If it hadn't been for EMS' Richard Medley we would have had a lot bigger fire than we had because he discharged two five-pound fire extinguishers on it."
Medley, meanwhile, gave a vivid description of how he battled the fire, but downplayed his role as a hero.
"Some of the guys under the tent said something was on fire inside the building so I got a fire extinguisher and went to the door. After I opened the door, I saw flames on the left and discharged the fire extinguisher until it was empty," said Medley. "I then went and got another fire extinguisher and when I went back inside the building I saw that the flames were back up so I completely discharged that one too. I had to eventually get out of the building because of the smoke. A lot of other people would have done the same thing. I just reacted to the situation."
Some items inside the concession stand were destroyed by the fire, including a couch and some Styrofoam coolers, but the building itself appeared to suffer no major structural damage and should be back in use for the start of football season.