AUGUSTA — A fire that heavily damaged an Augusta Little League concession stand Monday night off Piggery Road is suspicious and under investigation, officials said.

The fire is believed to have started inside the building by someone who may have entered the small structure through a broken window, according to Steve Leach, a battalion chief for the Augusta Fire Department.

A state Fire Marshal’s Office investigator went to the fire scene overnight, firefighters said. Augusta police also are investigating.

Leach said it appeared the fire started in an interior corner of the building, substantially damaging the structure and the cooking and other equipment inside.

Mike Karagiannes, president of Augusta Little League and a board member of the Capitol Area Recreation Association – which oversees the athletic fields off Piggery Road, said the building is probably a total loss. He said the same was likely the case for most of the equipment in the building, which included stoves, fryolators, a popcorn machine and a fire suppression system that is active only when cooking is taking place. A new drink cooler was damaged.

Karagiannes said the building was fairly new and was built by volunteers and with donated equipment and supplies. He said concession stand sales are a major source of revenue for the organization, which relies on fundraising to pay for most of its operations.


“This is heartbreaking for us. The outcry from parents is unbelievable. It really hits home,” Karagiannes said. “To take some candy and gum is one thing, but to destroy a building, after such a major effort to put it in, and to have it gone, that’s a gut punch. One of our biggest revenue generators was the concession stand, plus it provides a service for families out there, because when you’ve got kids and families there for multiple hours, they’re going to need something to eat and drink.”

He said the building was insured, but probably only for half the value of it and its contents. Karagiannes said the organization will rebuild, but that fundraising planned for other projects, such as renovations to the ballfields, will probably be delayed.

Parents and other volunteers had already offered to help rebuilt the stand within hours of the fire, he said.

“It’s very sad, but I’m also very optimistic, due to the response we’re already getting from people who want to help,” Karagiannes said. “The Augusta community is one that is top-notch when something like this happens.”

Firefighters responded to the fire at about 11:20 p.m., according to the Augusta Fire and Rescue Department Facebook page. No one was injured.

Leach said the fire was reported by a Capitol Police officer who saw the flames. It was under control within a half hour.

Karagiannes said people have broken into concessions stands and other buildings in recent years at the Capitol Area Recreation Association site, but only took food or other items and didn’t set anything on fire. He said officials have discussed equipping the complex with a security system.

About 170 children played on Augusta Little League teams last year.

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