Fire destroys batting cage building

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Saturday, May 26, 2012
— City fire officials are investigating a fire that destroyed the office and equipment building at the city’s batting cages, 937 S. Jackson St., early Friday morning.

“Fire Marshal (Larry) Hainstock and someone from the detective bureau from (the Janesville Police Department) are doing the investigation,” said James Ponkauskas, Janesville Fire Department shift commander.

The cause of the fire is suspicious, according to a fire department news release.

“We’ve had some break-ins down there, and the main circuit from the electric panel was turned off, so there was no power to energize the fire,’’ Hainstock said.

The fire started in the back room of the building by a patio door, he said.

The city owns the structure, which is a small, old ranch-style house converted into an office. The building was valued at $38,600 with contents valued at $250.

It was a total loss, Ponkauskas said.

Janesville police arrived on scene before firefighters from stations 1, 2 and 3. Upon arrival, firefighters found the building “fully involved,’’ they said.

The fire, reported at 4:01 a.m. Friday, was knocked down 19 minutes later.

Last updated: 8:16 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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