ERIE, Colo. (CBS4) – Playground equipment went up in flames early Wednesday morning in Erie and investigators say someone did it on purpose.

The fire started at about 5:53 a.m. at Black Rock Elementary School located at 2000 Mountain View Boulevard in the Vista Ridge community.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

The playground was completely charred and a lot of plastic is now missing because it melted. Nobody was injured and school is out for summer. Fire crews from multiple agencies responded and knocked down the fire quickly, preventing the flames from spreading to the school.

Fire officials say they have sufficient evidence indicating that the fire was intentionally set but can’t make those details public yet because the investigation is ongoing.

“This is a small preschool playground, but unfortunately the damage on that playground can go up to about $50,000,” Amy Tallent with Mountain View Fire Rescue said. “It was burned from the bottom all the way up to the top, and even the overhang that hangs above everything, that was burned off very quickly.”

The playground before the fire (credit: CBS)

The playground before the fire (credit: CBS)

Erie police are investigating it as an arson fire.

Parents and children who live near the school told CBS4 they were upset.

“It’s frustrating from the fact your kid goes to school here and you’re worried about that, but let’s face it, as an adult it’s frustrating because that’s taxpayer money getting burned up,” Kevin Fox said.

Fox said he’s confident the suspect will get caught.

“They will,” he said. “Everybody in this neighborhood keeps watch.”

Additional Information From Erie Police

Anyone with information is encouraged to call Erie Police Detective Dan Niemoth at 303-926-2835. Also available is an anonymous hotline at 1-877-89ARSON (1-877-892-7766.) This hotline offers a $5,000 award fund for information leading to the conviction of the perpetrators. Residents are encouraged to be aware and to report any suspicious activity. All agencies appreciate the quick action of the citizens that reported this fire.


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