A young brother and sister are accused of setting the playground on fire at Park Elementary School in Spanish Fork.
The flames could be spotted Tuesday night just before 7 o'clock. When fire crews arrived, the ones who sparked the blaze were no where to be seen, until police checked the nearby surveillance camera and saw an 11 year-old boy and 8 year-old girl.
“They were not intentionally trying to set it, the young man had a lighter and some paper and he set it down they had moved to the other portion of the playground and had actually left the playground when the equipment caught fire,” said Lt. Matt Johnson, Spanish Fork Police.
School staff ID'd the siblings who are students at the school. Police say the two admitted their involvement.
The whole thing may have been an accident, but heavy winds in the area only made matters worse.
“What was unfortunate were the winds last night, so the fire started quickly,” said Lana Hiskey, Nebo School District spokesperson.
The fire spread to the nearby school building charring brick, eaves and a camera. The building’s damage is still being assessed.
But with the pricey playground gone, the district is looking at a minimum of a $30,000 loss.
“They are expensive, honestly they have to be durable and safe for children, so they are more expensive than what you or I would have in our homes,” said Hiskey.
Police say the district could go after the children's parents in civil court for the amount of damage.
An expensive mistake, but Lt. Johnson says a good opportunity for all families to talk to their kids about the dangers of fire.
“We'd just like to remind the parents to caution their children in what can happen when playing with lighters or matches,” he said.
A juvenile court is expected to handle the children’s punishment which could result in a court fine and/or community service.
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