The Johnstown-Monroe Local School District will work to replace what was lost in a fire that destroyed the press box, locker room and concession stand Dec. 10.
Superintendent Dale Dickson said district leaders and the community are deeply saddened by the loss of stadium facilities but very glad nobody was hurt in the blaze.
Kelly Stincer, spokesperson for the state fire marshal’s office, said the fire appears to have started in the attic space and no foul play is suspected.
She said the exact cause remains under investigation.
Dickson said any criminal activity has been ruled out, and the evidence is supporting electrical wire in the attic as the probable cause.
“This community has been very supportive though this unfortunate event,” he said. “The fire department, county and state investigators, insurance personnel have been exemplary in their service.”
Community members, businesses and people from throughout Licking County have called with their offer of support, Dickson said.
“Johnstown is indeed a very special place full of wonderful supportive people,” he said. “Just like every other endeavor we face in this district, I am sure we will rekindle that special Johnstown Johnnies spirit, roll up our sleeves and work to provide a replacement facility to serve our students and community.”
He said the district is very grateful to the Frank Chambers family, who provided the financial support in 1974 to build the stadium facility.
“We will work to maintain this stadium as a lasting memorial to Frank and Pauline Chambers as we replace what has been lost,” Dickson said.
Monroe Township fire Chief Dudley Wright said
multiple calls were received about the fire at 3:12 a.m. Dec. 10.
“It was catastrophic by the time someone called,” he said.
By the time residents saw the fire, it was big, Wright said.
He said the football stadium’s athletics facility at 401 S. Oregon St. was fully engulfed by the time the department arrived.
Plain Township, Granville and Harlem Township fire departments also responded to the blaze.