Like many in the Auburn Family, I'm just waking up to this horrible news. Last night, somewhere around the time I went to sleep near midnight Central time, someone walked up to the Magnolia Avenue Oak and lit the toilet paper hanging from it on fire.
At 13-14 seconds, the guy walks up to the right tree, lights the left side of the toilet paper and walks away. Piece of trash. pic.twitter.com/L40AktdLwy— Austin Scott (@austingscott) September 25, 2016
Someone inadvertently set the one of the Toomer's Oaks on fire. It's out now, but all the toilet paper is burned off pic.twitter.com/0cSGRUBEFZ— Sam Butler (@_sam_butler) September 25, 2016
While some attempted to stop the fire before it engulfed the tree, at least one woman - who deserves a medal from the school and lifetime season tickets - attempted to run down and stop the man who did it.
Shout out the girl in white here who tried to stop the dude while he was sneaking out... what a bum... pic.twitter.com/yc4qRnLisy— Shane Murray (@Shanedrew_Jacks) September 25, 2016
According to Athletic Director Jay Jacobs, a suspect is in custody this morning.
While the tree doesn't look too bad this morning, the school's arborists have warned that any fire could be deadly to them. There is a back-up tree still over at Facilities, but this tree was a backup itself. It was brought in because it was deemed that transplanting the original backup so soon after its planting would be too stressful.
The full extent of the damage won't be known for a few weeks. I don't think the school has put out a statement, yet, but I'm sure they'll probably ask fans not to roll that particular tree again - although it was rerolled after the fire was put out - until the damage is known.
A 29 year old from Auburn - but NOT an Auburn student - is in custody.