Lorain school surveillance video shows huge playground fire

LORAIN-- New school surveillance video shows children escape a close call with a big playground fire.

Lorain Police say it happened Wednesday at 5 p.m. when at least two students were playing with matches or a lighter at the playground at Palm Elementary School. A school camera shows how the children, 10 and 11-years-old, attempt to put out the flames before one child runs away to get help.

"If they would have tried to extinguish the fire themselves their clothing could have caught on fire," said Detective Sergeant Buddy Sivert.

He continued, "We see this a lot, it's not that rare because of the mulch that's under the playground equipment."

A district spokesperson released the following statement:

"The fire was contained to a corner playset used by our scholars in grades 1st through 5th. The fire department extinguished the fire, and no injuries were reported.

Surveillance footage was reviewed and the individuals suspected of starting the fire were identified. This footage has been turned over to the Lorain Police Department for further investigation.

This fire will not impact day-to-day operations at the school going forward, but the playground equipment is a total loss.

Its remnants will be removed to ensure the safety of the area, and replaced in the spring."

Police have identified the children involved and say the fire appears accidental.

"The bottom line is they should not have been doing it," explained the detective sergeant. "They should not have been lighting anything on fire. If they needed to keep warm they could have gone back to the school.  They could have gone home. Starting a fire especially around playground equipment is never a good idea."

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