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No cause determined for fire at Lodi's historic Zupo Field

The fire started just before 5 p.m. on Sunday. The flames were so intense that firefighters at Station 1 could see it a mile away.

LODI, California — Behind home plate at Lodi's historic Zupo Baseball Field, all that's left is fiery destruction. The bleachers and a press box were completely destroyed.

It's a ballpark where many minor league baseball players have played on their way up to the big leagues.

"Those stands just erupted with a huge roar," said Frank Wanner.

Wanner is a former high school baseball coach who fielded many teams at the ballpark.

"I coached an American Legion team that almost qualified for the Legion World Series. We lost the last game here," Wanner added.

The fire started just before 5 p.m. on Sunday. The flames were so intense that firefighters at Station 1 could see it a mile away.

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"When they got on scene, they hit it with their deck gun, which is the monitor on top of the engine, that flows a thousand gallons a minute because of the intense flames," said Deputy Lodi Fire Chief Ron Penix.

The fire department concluded its investigation with no cause determined. But, members of the American Legion Hall next door suspect it may have been started by a homeless person.

Next to the hall and Zupo Field, there is a park where the homeless hang out. 

"We can't run them out. We have to call the police and the police say there is nothing we can do. But, we just keep calling them so that the police are showing their presence," said Martin Jones, a member of the American Legion Hall who also does the maintenance.

Although the city has insurance to repair the ballpark, their deductible is $250,000. 

If you would like to make a donation, you can do so through the Lodi Community Foundation.

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