Fire at Amherst Stadium considered suspicious
Heavy black smoke could be seen from several blocks away
The Amherst Stadium was saved by local firefighters after bales of artificial turf leaning against the building went up in flames.
Around 4 p.m. Saturday, the Amherst Fire Department got a call about a possible structure fire at the stadium, Fire Chief Greg Jones said in a release from the Town of Amherst.
He could see "heavy black smoke" from several blocks away as he approached the building.
The first crew on scene discovered that the artificial turf at the back of the building had been set on fire, the release said.
"At this point the fire does appear suspicious," Jones said. "We won't know for certain until the investigation we're conducting is completed."
Firefighters poured water and foam onto the turf and a wall. They also used a front-end loader to pull the turf away from the building.
The fire was hot enough that it burned the paint off part of the concrete wall near where the turf had been left. It took 10-15 minutes for crews to knock the fire down.
Firefighters kept pouring foam onto the brick wall for several minutes after the fire was out, since the wall was retaining heat from the fire.
Jones said "quick action" by the firefighters prevented the flames from getting into the eaves and second storey of the stadium.