Barn fire at Frank Liske Park in Concord intentionally set, officials say

Barn fire at Frank Liske Park in Concord intentionally set, officials say
(Cabarrus County)

CONCORD, N.C. — Investigators with the Cabarrus County Fire Marshal’s Office determined a March 26 fire that destroyed the barn at Frank Liske Park at4001 Stough Road, Concord, was intentionally set. The fire resulted in a total loss of the structure and its contents.

Firefighters were called to the park just after 1 a.m. and found the large barn and towering silo engulfed.

It took crews a while to knock the flames down. Nobody was hurt.

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The park was closed to visitors on March 26 and 27 as crews assessed damage and mitigated safety hazards.

The Cabarrus County Board of Commissioners advised staff to move forward with a feasibility study on rebuilding the structure. The Board is also working to restructure the terms of its lease from the state.

The park, which sits on the Stonewall Jackson property, owned by the state and on lease to Cabarrus County, will be closed until further notice.

In the mid-1900s, the land served as a working farm for Stonewall Jackson Training School students. The original barn was used to house and care for dairy cattle.

Cabarrus County Active Living & Parks Director Londa Strong was with Cabarrus County when it transformed the property into a park. She remembers watching crews turn the old barn into a functioning facility, built around the dairy barn’s original beams and iconic silo.

“The barn is a Cabarrus County treasure,” said Strong. “Our crews took pride in the facility and it showed. Generations used the barn for family reunions, picnics and weddings. Hundreds of thousands of people have memories connected to the facility. We are proud that our work means so much to our community.”

Frank Liske Park opened in June 1982 with the barn as its centerpiece. It was used for youth camps, rentals and the backdrop to countless family memories.

“We want to thank Concord Fire Department, the Cabarrus County Sheriff’s and Fire Marshal’s offices, Cabarrus County EMS, Harrisburg Fire Department, Cabarrus County’s Active Living & Parks and Infrastructure & Asset Management departments, and all the other agencies that responded,” Strong said.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.