Police investigate Wyandanch sports equipment fire as possible arson

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A fire that destroyed all football and athletic equipment housed in a Wyandanch High School equipment shed is being investigated as a potential arson, Suffolk Police have said.

Police said the fire was discovered at 7:50 a.m. Thursday in the large cement shed behind the stands. The shed, which is still standing but has since been closed with bars, has large scorch marks hanging out through the doors and window.

Wyandanch athletic director Thomas Williams referred all questions to Superintendent Mary Jones, who did not respond to the call for comment.

“We can’t imagine why someone would intentionally do something like this,” school spokesman Nathan Jackson said. “But if it is determined that it is arson, we hope they catch the culprit.”

Jackson said items lost in the fire included soccer balls, kick-off tees, training dummies, pylons, sideline markers, court and downhill markers and a equipment wagon. The track team lost batons, airstrips and various training equipment, he said.

Former football coach Ed Gay, who is a teacher at the school, said that for a district without a lot of money to spare, the losses are substantial.

“When the sporting director first showed me a picture of the fire, I was like, ‘Oh my God, what is this?’ “Gay said. “Everything inside was completely set on fire … I’m just glad no one was hurt.”

This is the latest in a series of incidents involving Wyandanch High School. Last week, a West Babylon man was arrested on charges of stabbing two teenagers behind the stands after the Warriors’ return game. Days earlier, two football players were suspended amid allegations of “bullying pranks” in locker rooms and walking home from school. Three others were suspended before returning home in conjunction with the bullying investigation.


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