By MICHAEL KITCH, LACONIA DAILY SUN
LACONIA — Rist-Frost-Shumway edged J.C. Swain 7 to 6 in a Little League baseball game on Saturday morning, which was delayed by fire when grease atop a grill in the concession stand at Colby Field burst into flame.
Firefighters from Laconia, Belmont and Gilford were dispatched to the ballpark 9:54 a.m. when a caller reported the fire. Lt. Chad Vaillancourt found neither smoke nor flame showing from the two-story building that houses the clubhouse and concession stand, but two minutes later reported the fire that had reached into the wall of the building. Vaillancourt requested help, which drew crews from Belmont and Gilford.
A crew from Gilford laid 1,200 feet of 4-inch hose from a hydrant on North Main Street and firefighters ran a line through the side door of the building and into the kitchen to attack the fire. The wall was opened and fire there extinguished. Firefighters ensured that fire had not climbed to the upper story. No one was injured in the fire.
Aaron Jones, assistant coach of the Rist-Frost-Shumway team, said that the umpires halted play in the second inning and escorted the players and coaches to the outfield as the firefighters arrived. "Everyone applauded the firefighters," Jones said. "It was really fun."
Kevin Dunleavy, director of parks and recreation, said that fortunately Saturday was the last day of the Little League season. Fire Chief Ken Erickson estimated the cost of the damage at $5,000. Dunleavy said that the building was constructed by local volunteers and is owned by the city. He added that the city's insurance carrier has been contacted and noted that Laconia Little League also provides a certificate of insurance for its exclusive use of Colby Field.
Firefighters work to put out a grill fire at the concession stand at Colby Field. (Photo courtesy Laconia Fire Department)
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