2 girls charged with fire that destroyed school play structure
REGINA -- Regina police have charge two girls with starting a fire that destroyed the play structure at a northwest school.
The fire broke out late Monday evening, at Dr. L.M. Hanna elementary school. Police were called to the scene around 9:56 p.m.
The suspects, two girls ages 12 and 13, were taken into custody and charged on Tuesday.
According to a GoFundMe page, the play structure was a $83,000 community funded addition to the playground. It took eight years to raise the funds and build the structure.
Regina Fire and Protective Services Deputy Chief, Gord Hewitt, said the fire was suspicious in nature.
Witnesses on scene told fire crews that they saw someone running away from the fire after it was lit. There was damage to metal parts of the play structure, as well as the rubber pellets along the ground.
The GoFundMe was started by Matt Jacobs, who has three kids who attend Dr. Hanna.
He said a conversation with his eight-year-old daughter is part of what inspired him to start the fundraiser.
“I told her there has been a fire at the playground and I showed her the video. She was a little tearful,” Jacobs said. “Her response initially was ‘why would someone do that?’”
He said that’s a question a lot of people have been asking.
“Then she said, ‘If only there was real super heroes in Regina,’” he said. “That had me thinking, why can’t we do something?”
Jacobs said whether the playground needs to be cleaned and repaired or completely replaced, he anticipates it to be an expensive project.
He said a group of students, parents, teachers and community groups spent about eight years fundraising to have the playground initially built, and it was installed last year. Now, Jacobs is hopeful the community can come together again.
“The kids use it at school daily and also just the community as a whole,” he said. “Honestly, it’s just such an important piece, which is why so many parents and staff and students have all gotten behind it in the past.”
The GoFundMe page goal is set at $85,000.
The school posted on Twitter this morning, saying it is devastated about the fire