POLICE and fire services are investigating a fire at Dickinson Oval in Bermagui that completely gutted the ground’s pavilion and destroyed thousands of dollars’ worth of sporting equipment.
Rural Fire Service (RFS) brigades from Bermagui, Cobargo and Narooma attended the fire at the sports oval in the early hours of Friday morning.
RFS Far South Coast manager John Cullen said teams from the RFS fought the blaze for over an hour, but it was already well alight when they arrived and little could be done to save the structure.
“The RFS was called out at 3.51am, and three brigades attended due to the severity of the fire,” Mr Cullen said.
“The blaze was extensive and resulted in a complete loss of property.”
Bega Valley Shire Council, which has responsibility for the structure, said a risk assessment was currently being done on the building, used by sporting clubs and community groups.
“The cause of the fire is currently being investigated and the council will determine what action will be taken once risk management and insurance staff have assessed the site for safety,” a spokesperson said.
Mr Cullen confirmed the fire was being looked into by investigators from both police and fire services.
Brian Lewin, member of the Bermagui Reserve committee, the group that maintains the grounds, said all the kitchen equipment in the pavilion used to run the canteen on sports days had been destroyed in the fire.
Mr Lewin, who also plays for the Bermagui Cricket Club, said the club had lost some cricket gear.
Rocky Lagana, president of the Bermagui Breakers Australian rules team said his club lost thousands of dollars’ worth of their equipment in the fire, with the pavilion doubling as their training facility and storage area.
“We’ve lost almost everything, training equipment, balls, jerseys and all the kids’ Auskick gear,” Mr Lagana said.
“I went down in the morning when the building was still ablaze, it was pretty devastating to see.
“However, we can’t dwell on it, we’ve got to stay positive and rebuild before the 2013 season.”
Mr Lagana said the club had been contacted by other teams in the Sapphire Coast Australian Football League (SCAFL) with offers of support.
“Tathra, Pambula, all the teams, they rang me straight away and offered anything we needed to get the club back on its feet.
“I can’t thank them enough for their concern and offers of help,” Mr Lagana said.