San Jose

San Jose Softball League Buildings Destroyed in Suspected Arson

Arson investigators are trying to find out who torched two buildings belonging to the East Valley Softball League in San Jose.

The league provides an alternative to the streets for many children in East San Jose. Families from the league said their equipment room and snack room, which is the league's main source of income, went up in flames on Monday.

Authorities said the blaze caused $18,000 in damages.

"I'm very saddened because everything is volunteer hours," said Victoria Garcia, a parent coach with the league. "There are a lot of people who work hard here that volunteer a lot of their hours."

The league plays in the softball fields at Ocala Middle School.

"Most of the players come from the community -- lower income," Garcia said.

Investigators said two boys on bicycles were spotted near the sheds before the fire.

"Probably kids that aren't participating in sports activities," San Jose Fire Department Battalion Chief Patricia Tapia said.

Tapia's crews responded to the blaze. For those firefighters it has become more than just putting out the flames.

One of the firefighters told Tapia the crew needed to do something for the kids. The Latino Firefighters Association is helping the league raise money to rebuild and restock.

"We're willing to provide the muscle and the labor," Tapia said. "And we just need the community's help to raise the funds and get it done for the kids."

The firefighters have also set up an online fundraiser to help the league.

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