Fair Haven rec building gutted by suspicious fire
By Darren Marcy
Staff Writer | September 26,2013
Darren Marcy / Staff Photo
A suspicious fire destroyed this recreation building in Fair Haven on Sunday. The building housed a concession stand on the left, bathrooms and storage on the right and the two sides were connected in the middle.
FAIR HAVEN — The Fair Haven Police Department is investigating a fire that destroyed a building at a recreation area behind the town grade school.
Fire officials responded to a report of a fire in the rec complex Sunday morning and found the structure fully involved.
The building housed a snack bar, bathrooms and storage area and contained equipment for the recreation fields.
The building was a total loss, police said.
Fair Haven Police Chief William Humphries said Wednesday his department is investigating and pursuing leads.
Humphries stopped just short of saying the fire was intentionally set.
“It was suspicious and may be arson,” Humphries said.
He expects to complete the investigation soon.
Town Manager Herbert Durfee said the building was insured and Wednesday met with an insurance adjuster.
Final details were not available, but Durfee said the building had an assessed value of about $25,000, but a replacement value of about $30,000 to $35,000.
“They’re in the middle of calculating that,” Durfee said about the insurance coverage.
Durfee said the town plans to rebuild the structure, but there were a few questions.
“The intent of the town is to rebuild,” Durfee said, but added he had to check with the town zoning administrator because the location is in a floodplain.
The building was an important part of the recreation facilities in that area, Durfee said.
“It’s kind of a focal point of the fields,” Durfee said. “It’s definitely going to affect sports.”
Durfee encouraged anyone with any information about the fire to contact police.
Also, Wednesday, Fair Haven authorities were looking into a second incident at the recreation field.
Police were told that a dark-colored pickup was driving recklessly in the complex next to where the fire occurred, and backed into a dugout on a Babe Ruth field, damaging the wood wall of the dugout.
The truck apparently fled the scene and police were looking for the driver.
Anyone with information on that incident should also contact police.