Fire at Tolsia High Football Building Ruled Arson

(WSAZ e-Reporter Photo)
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UPDATE 10/15 6 p.m.
WAYNE COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- New football equipment has arrived at Tolsia High School just two days after their football facilities building was torched.

“Luckily everything is coming together with the help of Mr. Bailey and we’ve stayed on top of things and gotten this equipment in here and hopefully these kids will be suited up and ready for a full gear of practice this afternoon,” said Tolsia’s Athletic Director Danny Mayo.

Volunteers helped put helmets together Thursday afternoon. Glenn’s Sporting Goods helped get the equipment to the school in a timely manner

“Worked with manufacturers all that time, and have a lot of close friends on the inside that went to work for us and was able to get the product here, we actually wanted it here yesterday but it wasn’t possible and we are working so we can get the kids out on the field today,” said Bill Bailey from Glenn’s Sporting Goods.

The West Virginia Fire Marshal's Office says Tuesday morning’s fire was deliberately set.

At the time of the fire, Deputy State Fire Marshal Reed Cook says there were several break-ins at the concession stands and field house.

The fire didn’t destroy everything, it turns out 32 jerseys were at the cleaners at the time of the fire and were therefore unharmed.

Tolsia will play Wayne this weekend at Wayne- the game was rescheduled for Saturday night.



UPDATE: Thursday 10/15
GLENHAYES, W.Va. (AP) -- Authorities are searching for an arsonist who torched Tolsia High School's football facilities building.

The West Virginia Fire Marshal's Office says Tuesday morning's fire was deliberately set.

At the time of the fire, Deputy State Fire Marshal Reed Cook says there were several break-ins at the concession stands and field house.

The fire destroyed the building and the Tolsia football team's uniforms, pads and other equipment.

Tolsia officials say they've gotten offers of football equipment from several other high schools, including two in Kentucky and Magnolia High in the Northern Panhandle.

The Rebels' Friday night game against Wayne has been moved to Saturday and will be played in Wayne.



UPDATE from 6pm
WAYNE COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- As the football facilities building at Tolsia High School burned to the ground, student-athletes understandably were stunned.

"It's hard to believe all that's lost," football player Graham Ayers said.

Assistant Superintendent Mike Rutherford said, "It makes me feel sick inside to think someone would do this."

Lost were the football locker room, the weight room, equipment area and offices -- not to mention many sentimental items that can not be replaced.

Coach Drew Waller said tapes from the last 20 years all had been devastated.

The scoreboard controller was also in the building when it caught fire.

Local schools quickly began showing support to help the Tolsia Rebels rebuild their football gear to help the team get through the season. Both Wayne and Spring Valley high schools said they would help with equipment.

The state fire marshal is treating the fire as a crime scene and said he has some leads. Anyone with information is asked to contact the fire marshal's office.

Meanwhile, Friday's game with arch-rival Wayne High School has been rescheduled for Saturday.



ORIGINAL STORY
WAYNE COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- An early morning fire has destroyed the football facility building at Tolsia High School in Wayne County.

A school administrator says firefighters were called to the school around 3:00 a.m. Tuesday.

The official tells WSAZ.com that the building housed the football locker room, weight room, equipment area and offices. We're told all of the team's uniforms were in the building.

Investigators believe the fire started in a second floor coaches' office.

Tuesday morning, Assistant Superintendent Mike Rutherford told us that the fire is being treated as a crime scene

The Fire Marshal and a K-9 unit are on scene.

Rutherford tells WSAZ.com that someone saw lights from a pair of flashlights in the woods behind the building around the time the fire was reported.

Wayne Superintendent, Gary Adkins says both Wayne and Spring Valley have offered replacement equipment. He says new equipment has already been ordered.

The facility building is behind the football field, and separate from the main school building. Classes are going on as scheduled at Tolsia High School on Tuesday.

Tolsia was scheduled to play Wayne Friday night, but the game has been rescheduled for Saturday.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for updated information.


(WSAZ e-Reporter Photo)


 
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