Emergency action expedites demo

Rebecca Neipp

News Review Staff Writer

The city of Ridgecrest added an “as need arose” item to last week’s council meeting in order to allow swift resolution regarding a burned-out structure at the Kerr McGee Youth Sports Complex on Downs Street.

A suspicious fire in the wee hours of July 13 destroyed a building that served as the restrooms, concession stand and storage for youth sports clubs.

Although some of the gear was reportedly saved, which Vice Mayor Jason Patin credited to the Ridgecrest Police Department since club representatives were not allowed to enter the scene of the suspected arson, the structure was deemed a loss by fire officials.

“Due to the extent of the damage, the structure is now a hazard to public safety and there is a need to expedite demolition of the structure,” City Manager Dennis Speer told the council.

Because the city’s insurance carrier requires a statement of emergency from the council to begin the demotion process, the council was asked to pass a resolution that would allow the action as soon as the PD concludes its investigation.

At press time, the RPD had not disclosed any results of the investigation.

Last week RPD published a request asking witnesses or anyone else with information regarding the incident to contact Det. Merzlak at 760-499-5113 or Det. Lloyd at 760-499-5112.

Story First Published: 2013-07-24