Photo submitted Three structures were destroyed Sunday, Jan. 6 by fires intentionally set according to Russellville Rural Fire Chief Cheryl Allen.

Photo submitted

Three structures were destroyed Sunday, Jan. 6 by fires intentionally set according to Russellville Rural Fire Chief Cheryl Allen.

Benjamin Lamb, owner-operator of The Climb Adventure Lagoon, located off the Southern Bypass in Logan County, says he is not sure if he will be able to reopen his park this spring after someone intentionally set fire to three structures on the property Sunday night a little after 10 p.m.

"I don't know about opening in spring," said a downtrodden Lamb. "I would like to but this has set me way back about $100,000 that I don't have right now to throw away. If I can get an investor or someone to buy the park maybe. The goal is obviously to try and reopen in spring but I can make no promises."

The Russellville Rural Fire Department responded to the fire on Sunday, Jan. 6, however, by the time they arrived the three structures were already too far gone.

"Four firetrucks were utilized to control and extinguish the structure fires and prevent the flames from spreading to adjacent woods," said Fire Chief Cheryl Allen. "The RRFD shares the sadness of the Lamb family that such an intentional act of destruction occurred in our community. RRFD fully supports the apprehension and conviction of all those responsible for this arson. Not only is there the senseless loss of property, but any fire response puts responders and the public at risk for serious injury and death."

The fires are under investigation by the Kentucky State Fire Marshals Office along with the Kentucky State Police. Allen said the fires have been ruled as arson.

"I got phone call Sunday night from the fire department telling me that my cabin, my camper, and my office were burning," said Lamb. "They are not close enough together for one to start another and we had no electricity turned on. Obviously, it was intentional."

Lamb said due to the winter and the park not being open, he dropped insurance and the structures destroyed were not covered.

"This is a one-hundred percent loss," said Lamb, who believes the fires were set to drive him out of Logan County.

Lamb was arrested last year for non-compliance in several local and state laws required in the operation of his park. He has been working with the county attorney to clear up the matter and according to Lamb has applied for permits that are still hung up at the state level. Before his arrest, The Climb was shut down by the local health department for several violations.

Soon after The Climb first opened in 2016, a wild weekend that led to visits from local police, as well as arrests, put a spotlight on the business.

"I never ever would have dreamed anyone would go to this extreme to get rid of me," said Lamb adding, "Obviously it's some extremist. I feel like it's a direct warning trying to get rid of me for someone to come in and burn down three of my buildings with all that has happened. There is someone who wants to burn me out."

Lamb said he is also curious about the initiative going around to ask the county and City of Russellville to purchase Rolling Hills Golf Course and make a park out of it.

"I find it humorous, that's the best word for it, that there is an initiative to have the county and city buy property and put in an amphitheater. That's what they got on me for," said Lamb who is speaking about several noise complaints that were made when he would have live music at his park.

A group of local business leaders have organized recently and will be presenting their idea to the City of Russellville and the county to turn Rolling Hills into a park for the community to use. The park would include a nine-hole golf course, a disk golf course, a splash pad, amphitheater, baseball fields, and walking trails. The idea did not originate from either government and no decisions to become involved in this venture have been made by either at this time.

The Climb has been up for sale for months. Lamb says he has dropped the price tag now that the fires have happened. If he doesn't sell it, he hopes to find an investor to help him get it back up and running.

Lamb is offering a $5,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of who set the fires at his park.