A minor rubbish fire inside the historic Hinchliffe Stadium was put out by firefighters on Sunday morning.
Firefighters responded to the corner of Maple and Liberty Streets at about 10:58 a.m. on report of a fire at the derelict stadium.
A minor rubbish fire inside the locker room of the stadium was put out using a fire extinguisher.
Deputy fire chief Frank Calamita said there was no damage to the stadium.
Firefighters ejected a vagrant from stadium.
Hinchliffe Stadium, which has been in a state of disrepair since closure in 1997, is one of the few remaining places where the legendary Negro League held games. Baseball greats like Larry Doby, Leroy “Satchel” Paige, Josh Gibson, Judy Johnson, James “Cool Papa” Bell, and Oscar Charleson played at the stadium.
The stadium is a national landmark and part of the Great Falls National Historical Park.
The city took the first big step to renovate the stadium which is owned by the school board in Aug. 2017. A $1.5 million contract was awarded to restore the front of the stadium on Liberty Street side including façade, ticket windows, terracotta tiles, entrance gates, and other decorative features. Four cast concrete Hinchliffe Stadium signs will also be restored as part of the work.
Estimated restoration cost for the stadium stands at $35 million.
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