In lieu of the Darwin Award (since the perpetrator did not die), this qualifies as a candidate for the 2019 Stupid Award.
Some bright bulb at Ridgefield High School, a public high school in Ridgefield, Connecticut, had the ingenious idea of setting fire to the school’s rain-soaked baseball field, Tiger Hollow, with 24 gallons of gasoline so as to dry and warm it up before a game.
WDBJ CBS7 reports that according to Ridefield police, on the morning of Saturday, April 7, 2019, the baseball field of Ridgefield High School was set on fire in a reported attempt to warm up the infield before a game.
Video shot by a teacher reportedly shows the moment after 24 gallons of gasoline were poured on the infield and set ablaze. When the fire started burning, someone among the families gathered at the field ran across the street to the police department and notified authorities.
Police Capt. Shawn Platt said: “It had rained the night before, [and] there was a scheduled baseball game… [that] was delayed due to the wet field.”
Ridgefield resident Evan Schreiber said: “I get it to a certain degree, but at the end of the day, the decision was not well thought out.” Another resident identified as Phil said: “By now, everybody knows you don’t pour gasoline on the soil. You think everybody knows.”
The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s hazmat group was called because gasoline-soaked soil must be tested and removed, a process that will cost the town thousands of dollars. One resident said: “I’d like to see somebody pay for it, rather than me. All the people who stood around and thought it was a good idea, it would be nice if they all chipped in and paid for it.”
Police are investigating but are unsure if anyone will face charges. Capt. Platt said “It is an active investigation into who instructed, if anybody instructed, in regard to warming the field with fire.”
Incredibly, Ridgefield High School was ranked 119th in Newsweek‘s 2015 list of the top 1,600 high schools in America, and 226th in U.S. News & World Report‘s 2012 list of the top 4,813 U.S. high schools. (Wikipedia)
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