Harlandale ISD police officers and San Antonio Police arson investigators are working together on a few leads, trying to track down the people who set fire to the playground area at Adams Elementary School. Dark black smoke could be seen rising from the area June 24 just before 9:00 p.m. It was nearby community members who first called 911 to report the blaze then stuck around to watch the fire fight.
Crews were able to contain the blaze to the playground area and kept it from spreading to a nearby round building. The fire itself is believed to have started on the rubber mulch in the center of the large playground but wind helped push it westward, toward the Pre-K playground as well. Flames melted slides, burned through the canopy and destroyed the bridge. The estimated cost to replace the playground equipment including the surrounding rubber turf is $150,000.
“While we realize the playground equipment is a source of development for our children, we are taking steps to ensure that it [the playground] is safe for our children and our community. We are working with our insurance company to review our benefits to replace the equipment,” said Hector Rodriguez, Purchasing Manager for HISD.
At least one witness reported reported seeing two middle school aged males riding their bikes in the playground area prior to the fire. Police are looking into this and several other tips. If anyone has additional information, call the Harlandale ISD Police Department at (210)932-SAFE(7233).