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Youth program loses everything

Hello Supa fan nation I try not to post on here much but I thought this was a good time. I'm not sure if you had seen the story on Channel 6 but a small town where I grew up lost all of it youth football equipment in a fire please go to the link and read the story and if you like you can also mail money to:

Lapel Optimist Club
P.O. Box 812
Lapel, IN 46051

http://www.theindychannel.com/news/30032886/detail.html

Re: Youth program loses everything

coming from lapel I am saddened to hear that the optimist club was burned down, i went through that program myself when i was younger and i hope the best for Tony Mullet and his family (the ones who have been a big part of youth football in lapel and surrounding areas). heard from a friend somebody tossed a cigarette butt in a trashcan by the building. they will rebuild eventually but it sucks to see a good persons work ruined by someone who was so careless....

Re: Youth program loses everything

December 26, 2011
Lapel Optimist Club fire caused by careless smoking, police say
No charges expected to be filed

By Abbey Doyle The Herald Bulletin

LAPEL, Ind. — A carelessly discarded cigarette has been determined to be the cause of a fire that destroyed the Lapel Optimist Club building last week, Lapel police said.

The building, on Main Street and south of Indiana 32, housed activities for the service organization as well as equipment for a youth football league. All of the equipment was also lost in the fire reported around 2 p.m. Dec. 18.

Lapel police Capt. Michael Burns said that soon after the fire was put out witnesses said they’d seen juveniles or young adults on the property just before smoke was spotted. Another witness said he saw smoke and fire coming from a group of trash cans on the east side of the building on the patio as well as smoke coming from the eaves of the building.

A Lapel Fire Department investigator, Dennis Everitt, and State Fire Marshal investigator Rick Constable conducted an investigation along with Lapel police.

The investigation ruled out sources for the fire such as electrical problems, and the origin was discovered to be on the southeast side of the building — the patio, Burns said. The remains of trash cans were located in this area as well, consistent with witness reports.

Investigators were led to two young men who’d been sitting in the patio area of the club talking and smoking cigarettes before the fire was reported. Those two men were found and taken to the Lapel Police Department to be interviewed.

Neither of the men were members of the Optimist Club and both admitted to being on the patio talking and smoking before the fire, Burns said. This activity, he explained, wasn’t unusual as the Optimist Club patio was fully covered by a roof with picnic tables. Young people often meet there and use the football field on their own and not as part of an Optimist Club function, Burns said.

During the interview, one of the men admitted to flicking his lit cigarette toward or into the trash cans when he was finished with it, Burns said. The man said the two learned of the fire shortly after they left but were afraid to come forward until contacted by police.

The men’s statements compared to what physical evidence is available are consistent, Burns said.

The investigators from all three agencies determined the cause of the fire to be accidental, caused by a burning cigarette butt that was discarded in an inappropriate and careless manner, he said. The burning cigarette ignited paper and plastic trash already inside a trash can as well as the trash can itself.

The can’s proximity to the outside wall of the Optimist Club’s building allowed the fire to spread from the can, up the wall and then into the roof, eaves and attic, Burns said. A south-southeast wind helped fuel the fire and spread it quickly, he said, adding that once in the attic the fire had a ready fuel source in the contents.

Kitchen appliances, football equipment and irreplaceable photos and memorabilia associated with Lapel football were destroyed along with the building.

No criminal charges are expected to be filed, Burns said.

A Lapel man wants to help raise funds to help rebuild the Optimist Club building and the football program. He said he wants to make a cookbook to sell with the proceeds going to the Optimist Club. Anyone interested in helping should contact Larry Wallace at lanawallace01@yahoo.com or lew1962@yahoo.com.