Model Rocket Sparks Two-Acre Fire Damaging Mass. Athletic Fields

By Jason Hall

August 5, 2022

Firetruck
Photo: Getty Images

A model rocket accidentally led to a massive fire that seriously damaged several athletic fields at a Topsfield, Massachusetts park, fire officials confirmed via NBC Boston.

The fire took place at Pye Brook Park on Wednesday (August 3) amid an ongoing severe drought in the region, according to Topsfield Fire Chief Jen Collins Brown.

Firefighters responded to the scene, but became exhausted as the fire quickly spread and caused extreme heat, which led to the department calling for assistance from Middleton, Hamilton and Wenham area firefighters.

Brown confirmed no one was injured in relation to the fire, which was knocked down within an hour from the firefighters' response and ceased before it could spread to other buildings, dugouts and the woods adjacent to the baseball fields.

"It was just a family having some outdoor time and they made a mistake," Brown said via NBC Boston. "I think the take-home message is, it is so dry -- it's windy, hot and dry -- the perfect, perfect storm for a fire."

Several baseball fields were left charred and black, which led to multiple games having to be rescheduled.

"It was wild to see," said Bill King, whose team had played on the field days before the fire took place and was scheduled to have another game afterward. He said the grass was "dead" when the team last played on it, "but it wasn't black, by any means."

Parts of Massachusetts are currently facing a severe drought, according to the National Integrated Drought Information System's website.

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