Fire at School Playground in Thermalito

Students at Plumas Avenue Elementary School in Thermalito have lost a big part of their playground to a fire, Sunday afternoon.

Posted: Oct. 15, 2018 6:16 PM

THERMALITO, Calif. - Students at Plumas Avenue Elementary School in Thermalito have lost a big part of their playground to a fire, Sunday afternoon.

The cause of the fire is still unknown and under investigation, but Battalion Chief David Hilson with the city of Oroville, said there are elements that make the start of this fire suspicious.

"The fire was contained in about 5 minutes," Hilson said.

Fire officials received a call around 2:30 in the afternoon on Sunday.

Both Butte County fire and the Oroville fire department arrived on the scene.

"When we arrived we found a mulch bed in the - a rubberized mulch bed in the playground area of the school it was well involved and did damage to the play structure and mulch bed," Hilson said.

The Superintendent of the Thermalito Union School District, Greg Blake said, the school plans to put in a new playground, but not use the same rubber material... they're thinking of going back to wood chips instead.

Blake said their main priority right now is to get the debris cleaned up for the kids.

"So that they can continue to use parts that may be, that they can use otherwise we are looking forward to putting in a new structure as soon as we can and getting in more time for the kids," Blake said.

The playground is open to the public after school hours and on weekends, so they plan to look at their surveillance video and working with the Oroville police and fire department for further investigation.

Blake said even the kids are interested and concerned about who would do this to their playground.

"That's sort of a disappointing feeling for us in our community here, but you know we're trying to make it good for them we're bringing out different kinds of activities during recesses and lunches with frisbees and hoolihoops and trying to make it as comfortable for them as we can," Blake said.

A mother named, Kyle Wills, has a daughter and neice at the school.

When her kids saw their playground charred and burned they were devestated and in tears, that gave Wills the idea to start a GoFundMe Page to raise money to help the school put in a new play area for the kids.

If you're interested in donating, the link is on our website under news links.

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