East Austin school accepting donations after intentional playground fire

Police say someone intentionally set this playground at Oak Springs Elementary School on fire. (Courtesy: JPF. Alexander)
Police say someone intentionally set this playground at Oak Springs Elementary School on fire. (Courtesy: JPF. Alexander)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Neighbors in one East Austin community are upset and worried after police say someone intentionally set a nearby playground on fire.

Police were called at about 9:15 p.m. on Saturday to Oak Springs Elementary located on Webberville Road in east Austin.

Neighbors say they could smell burning plastic and heard a big explosion when fire crews got there.

“They were there quick taking care of it. We didn’t know what that explosion was though at the time it was pretty scary but it kind of dampened things pretty quickly. It kept sparking back up and because it was so windy, there were sparks blowing into our yard,” said Seasha McKay. “Yeah, it was intense.”

“I have grandchildren that go to this school, they play on that playground day in and day out. They have a wonderful time and I have no idea why this would even happen to their playground,” said neighbor J.P.F. Alexander. “I’m totally distraught, it’s not very nice.”

Alexander says the playground at Oak Springs was remodeled about 10 years ago.

“It’s full, they’re always playing on it the kids are always back and forth, back and forth and they can’t get enough of it and being a child, being in east Austin that has to hurt, because they already have very little as it is,” he said.

Since the playground was destroyed, the school is accepting donations such as playground balls, bubbles, chalk and jump ropes so students have other activities to occupy their time during recess. If you would like to donate, find out more here.

Authorities say the fire, which was intentionally set, caused $20,000 worth of damage to the playground.

No one has been arrested in connection with the fire at this time.

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