Arson suspected in Howe High School equipment shed fire - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Arson suspected in Howe High School equipment shed fire

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Jim Sturgeon, head football coach at Howe High School Jim Sturgeon, head football coach at Howe High School

Emily Longnecker/Eyewitness News

Indianapolis - Investigators say a fire that broke out at an Indianapolis school is no accident.

At Howe High School on the city's east side, a brand new equipment shed was reduced to smoldering ruins by 11:30 am Monday. At some point, someone set it on fire. It burned to the ground and no one saw a thing until the shed was gone.

"What do you mean the barn's burned down? Yeah. They burned the barn down," said Jim Sturgeon, head football coach at Howe High School.

That's all Howe High School's head football coach could say at first when he learned the team's equipment shed was no more.

"Our dummies were in there. All of our field equipment for the game. Down markers, line markers. Everything was there that we need to have this field ready to play on," said Sturgeon.

Everything but the team's collective muscle and spirit that already pushed the Hornets to victory last week in their first game of the season.

"If one win has got them acting like this, imagine what two wins is going to do; three wins is gonna do. It will just make us better," said Kevin Baker, a senior player.

Arson investigators have no suspects, but the team wonders if destroying their equipment shed was personal.

"We got haters. They gonna burn our stuff down. That means we doin' something right. That's means somebody's scared of us," said Baker.

But no one saw anything Monday morning. Assistant Coach James Brown says the shed was there at 9:00 am. By 11:30 am, it was destroyed.

"When I first seen it, I was l dumbfounded like who would come and set an equipment shed on fire?" said James Brown, assistant coach.

"Hopefully we find out who did it, but I don't know how possible that is. But that's why we have the arson people out here," said Sturgeon.

Even with all their practice equipment destroyed, the coach says it was insured, so they'll be able to replace it. He says this isn't going to stop his team from doing what they need to do on that football field.

"We're just going forward from here and playing football," said the coach.

"We just got to work harder," said Baker.

Meantime, arson investigators work to try and figure out who would barn down the team's equipment barn and why.

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