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Fire destroys historic wooden ballpark in Oregon

One of the last remaining wooden ballparks in the country burned during a fire in Eugene, Ore., on Monday night.

Civic Stadium, which was built in 1938 and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was destroyed by flames that towered nearly twice as high as the stadium.

Eugene Springfield Fire Chief Randy Groves told the Register-Guard that the stadium's dry, seasoned lumber caused the fire to spread quickly. He said the cause of the fire remains under investigation. No injuries were reported.

The stadium originally was constructed as a high school football venue before the Eugene Emeralds relocated there in 1969. The Emeralds played at both triple-A and single-A levels before moving into a new stadium in 2009.

The Eugene Civic Alliance, a nonprofit group that purchased the shuttered stadium from the Eugene School District for $4.1 million in April, had plans to convert the stadium into a soccer and multisport venue. Renovations were scheduled to start next month.

"We’re really heartbroken," Derek Johnson, an alliance co-founder, told the Register-Guard. "It's a hard day."

The alliance said the stadium was insured for up to $3 million.

"It is too early for us to know where we go from here,” the alliance said in a statement. "Civic is an important touchstone for our community, and today, we mourn its loss."

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