Electrical fire damages concession stand at The Diamond

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – Fireworks at The Diamond came four days early when an electrical box suffered a breakdown. The fire brought nearly a dozen Richmond fire crews racing to the scene Thursday morning.

What's left is a now-useless fuse box and a burned out utility room on the third-base side of The Diamond. It happened at 10:15 in the morning, the moment that team Vice President Todd Parnell was arriving at work.

"Looked over, saw the fire trucks and went, 'I hope they're not at the Diamond.' and then, of course, here they were," said Parnell.

At first, things did not look very good.

"It was heavy, heavy black smoke coming out of the room. It was fully charged," Capt. William Martin with the Richmond Fire Department said.

But just minutes later, the fire was put out. Nobody was hurt, and investigators quickly traced the fire to an electrical short in the fuse box.

"When you short out an electrical panel like that, it actually acts as a welder. It gets a very bright light like a welder," Martin said. "And then, of course, it's sparking because it's a short, and the sparks actually went to the floor and that's what caused the fire," he added.

The fire broke out on the back side of a concession stand, so now the question becomes what, if any, impact will this have on the sold-out crowd expected July 4th?

"I go from the fire guys, they're the experts, and none of them told me to go stick my head in the toilet, so I think that's a good sign," said Parnell.

For now, the work is mostly cleanup, and -of course- restoring electricity to an entire concession stand. With the Flying Squirrels on the road for the next four nights, Parnell says there's enough time to get ready.

"If it means more vendors, if it means more satellite stands, we'll figure it out. I just hope it doesn't get to that point," he said.

Electricians don't believe the damage spread into any of the wiring at the 26 year old facility. Team officials say the game and the fireworks will take place as scheduled Monday night.

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