MIAMI (WSVN) - A fire that broke out at a field house used by student athletes at Miami Edison Senior High School destroyed expensive football equipment, but officials do not believe it was set on purpose.
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue responded to the scene of the blaze at the campus’ football practice field located along Northwest 62nd Street in Miami, Sunday afternoon.
Miami Edison’s football team posted a photo of the charred structure on their Twitter page.
Madsen Marcellus, one of team’s coaches, came to the school to take a look at the damage.
“Everything is basically decimated, and it’s hard for us now to get ready to compete. It’s hard,” he said.
Quarterback Keith Moore said he was overwhelmed by the extent of the damage.
“[The field house] was crowded. You could barely close the door. Now it’s just burnt ashes,” he said.
The players said they were on a college tour when they learned about the fire. They came home to find their pricey equipment melted.
“To see that we don’t have the pads to put on the equipment, so they could actually go through everyday practice, it’s heartbreaking for me, and I am actually very saddened by it,” said Marcellus.
Sunday night, the football team’s head coach, hip-hop star Luther Campbell, said the players have been going through a difficult time this month.
“The first thing that came to my mind is the kids. You think about the kids. You think about everything that they’ve been to for the last two weeks, as far as one of their former players passing and everything,” he said.
The field house contained a locker room and was also used to store a considerable amount of athletic equipment.
Among the items burned in the fire were balls, benches, blocking pads, field markers and practice dummies.
Sunday night, Miami Fire Rescue Lt. Ignatius Carroll said no signs lead to arson at this point.
“There’s nothing that leads us to believe that someone tried to intentionally set this,” he said. “We do know that this was nothing electrical because we didn’t find anything like that.”
The team said their equipment is a complete loss but added they’ll use this fire to fuel their will to play harder in the coming season.
“The first thing they said, something great is going to come out of this, because that community is going to get behind us,” said Marcellus.
“It’s going to bring us closer, because we already lost a player, so that motivates us to work harder and win a state championship,” said Moore.
Campbell said his players will overcome this setback.
“You know what it’s about? It’s about building them up and letting them know that God don’t make no mistakes,” he said. “Whatever we’re going through right now, we’re going to fight through it, and something good will come of all this.”
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
If you have any information about this fire that could help investigators, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $1,000 reward.
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