by: Farron Salley Updated:TULSA, Okla. —
The fire that burned through an elementary school playground is under investigation.
It happened around 4 a.m. Tuesday morning at Eliot Elementary near 36th and Rockford.
One slide was destroyed, and another was badly burned. Tulsa Public Schools said a playground like the one at the school costs $70,000. Now, they have to tear it down.
Daylight revealed the extent of the damage from the overnight fire.
“The first thing I saw was the slide and I could tell it was melted,” said Karissa Shockley, a parent.
Parents looked at the playground with horror.
“It breaks my heart that somebody wanted to do something like that, this is an elementary school, there are small children that play here,” said Stephanie Threadgill, a parent.
Threadgill lives just a few blocks away. Her first-grade daughter didn’t understand what was happening.
“She said it looks likes its new and I said no it’s been burned down and she started tearing up because she loves this playground,” she said.
Her daughter wasn’t the only one who took it hard.
“I told her, ‘I think it caught fire,’ she said, ‘oh my gosh, what are we going to do? Daddy said that’s been there forever, it’s not going anywhere,’” she said.
But now it is.
“Our goal is to get it out first,” said Jay Oates, Tulsa Public Schools grounds manager.
He said once the playground is removed, he’ll work with the principal to replace it. Parents hope that time comes soon.
“It is two weeks tomorrow that they start and they’re not going to have a playground to play on,” said Shockley.
Investigators say the cause of the fire is still undetermined, but they are not ruling out arson.