Reward offered in stadium arson

Ashland police and fire officials are offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest of the arsonist who set fire to Ashland High School's stadium in June, Ashland Fire & Rescue announced Tuesday.

The June 30 fire caused about $400,000 in damage to the stadium and $100,000 to its contents, said Margueritte Hickman, fire marshal with Ashland Fire & Rescue.

Investigators believe the fire was intentionally set at about 10:20 p.m. and that people may have witnessed the crime, she said.

"We are seeking the public's assistance in providing information that could lead to the identification and arrest of a suspect," Hickman said. "Part of why this is important is so that this doesn't happen again."

The reward is sponsored by the Oregon Council Against Arson and the Northwest Insurance Council in partnership with the Oregon International Association of Arson Investigators.

Ashland Fire & Rescue responded to the fire at 10:21 p.m. on June 30 and discovered 7-foot flames shooting from the north end of the bleachers.

The fire damaged about one third of the seating area. Flames reached part of the locker rooms beneath the stadium, but did not significantly damage the area containing football memorabilia from more than 50 years ago, Ashland High School football coach Charlie Hall has said.

The district will pay a $50,000 insurance deductible for the stadium repairs and its insurance company will cover the rest of the bill, Superintendent Juli Di Chiro said.

District officials hope to finish the repairs in time for the football team's first home game Sept. 17.

Anyone with information about the fire is asked to call Oregon State Police arson tip line at 1-800-452-7888.

Contact reporter Hannah Guzik at 541-482-3456 ext. 226 or

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