Update (6:15 p.m. ET): The fire was started by a heater in a skybox suite, according to WoodTV.com. The heater had caught fire while being used by a work crew, but the members of the crew believed that the flames had been extinguished before they left the scene. They were mistaken, and the ensuing blaze destroyed "the majority of the first-base side and as many as 12 skyboxes," according to the report.
Fifth Third Ballpark, home to a Detroit Tigers' minor-league affiliate, has caught fire this morning, according to multiple reports in the Plainfield Township area.
Public told not to come out. pic.twitter.com/pXarvTGoZq— John Gonzalez (@MichiganGonzo) January 3, 2014
The park is home to the West Michigan Whitecaps, the Tigers' Class-A affiliate.
Firefighters have moved out of the area, but are attempting to control the fire from the outside. Whitecaps staff members have reported that they were able to remove all personnel from the park, according to Steve Amorose of Fox 17 Sports.
A "heavy column of smoke" continues to rise from the stadium as additional firemen arrive.
There are no reported injuries, though the flames have done significant damage to the stadium's structure.
A third of the stadium structure has collapsed, other 2/3 are not impacted. That's an encouraging sign, though doesn't mean in the clear— Paul Wezner (@TigsTown) January 3, 2014
Hardly anything left of the first base side at 5/3 Park. Looking very skeletal. pic.twitter.com/Ds6AcRWXJd— HookSlide (@HookSlideBYB) January 3, 2014
The fire began at around 10:50 a.m., as WOODTV reports. Team management has already told the media that they intend to renovate the damaged areas and will open the season there on April 8.