Police are trying to figure out who turned a playground for children into a pile of ashes.
What was left of the playground at Broken Arrow Elementary in Shawnee, KS, was torn down Tuesday as police investigated who was behind setting the equipment ablaze.
"We got a call from my sister-in-law who lives about two blocks down on Johnson Drive on the other side, and they saw the smoke and thought it was our house on fire," Karl Nurnberger said.
Saturday afternoon Nurnberger got the call from his relative. It turns out it wasn't his house on fire, but instead it was playground equipment at Broke Arrow Elementary right behind his Shawnee home.
"It's always busy, it's just kind of a neighborhood hangout for all the youngsters," he said.
Fire investigators quickly figured out the fire was intentionally set. On Tuesday, workers were busy tearing down what was left of the equipment so no one got hurt playing in the debris.
It's an estimated $50,000 loss that's gone up in smoke.
"That's probably the most frustrating thing because we're already short in school budgets and now $50,000 are thrown away to replace equipment that was fine to begin with before someone had to torch it," Nurnberger said.
"It was pretty significant damage," Capt. Dan Tennis with the Shawnee Police Department said.
Police are following leads and believe they might be close to solving the case, but it will be months at least before the equipment is replaced.
"It's sad for kids. That's a hit that the school's probably not ready to take," Tennis said.
Signt Partod called 911 when he saw the smoke from his house across the street. Once the fire was out, he had to tell his 5-year-old son his favorite play area was no more.
A spokesperson for the school district said they will have to get bids to replace the equipment and that will take some time.
The school district is cooperating with the investigation.
Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
Friday, May 24 2013 7:40 PM EDT2013-05-24 23:40:51 GMT
It was a wild night after a liquor store robber shoved two people into a cooler, got into a shootout with police and drove the wrong way on Interstate 70 before crashing into a Fed-Ex truck.The suspect,More >
It was a wild night after a liquor store robber shoved two people into a cooler, got into a shootout with police and drove the wrong way on Interstate 70 before crashing into a Fed-Ex truck.More >
Thursday, May 23 2013 7:57 PM EDT2013-05-23 23:57:02 GMT
A massive tornado was carving its way through town. There was no time to hesitate. LaTisha Garcia had to get to her children. And so she raced against the storm. She had 30 miles to cover from her jobMore >
A massive tornado was carving its way through town. There was no time to hesitate. LaTisha Garcia had to get to her children.More >
Thursday, May 23 2013 7:30 PM EDT2013-05-23 23:30:51 GMT
The Lafayette County Prosecutor has charged the father of a 10-week-old baby with her violent death.Alex Anthony Gilbert, 24, of Independence was charged with second-degree murder. His daughter died fourMore >
The Lafayette County Prosecutor has charged the father of a 10-week-old baby with her violent death.More >
Friday, May 24 2013 2:25 PM EDT2013-05-24 18:25:33 GMT
A golf cart accident at Lake Quivira Country club has left two people with injuries. The accident occurred around 8:30 p.m. Thursday evening. Authorities tell us at least one of the victims will be transportedMore >
A golf cart accident at Lake Quivira Country club has left two teen girls with injuries.More >
Friday, May 24 2013 5:23 PM EDT2013-05-24 21:23:39 GMT
Police are investigating whether a person being shot in the chest is connected to a home invasion robbery.Two men attempted to burst into a home in the 106 block of Greenwood Road when shots were fired.More >
A woman fired shots at three men attempting to break into her home, and one of the suspects was shot in the chest, police said. Her husband described the harrowing ordeal. More >
Dan Sligh and his wife were in their pickup truck on Interstate 5 heading to a camping trip when a bridge before them disappeared in a "big puff of dust."More >
The trucker was hauling drilling equipment when his load bumped against the steel framework over an Interstate 5 bridge. He looked in his rearview mirror and watched in horror as the span collapsed into the water behind him....More >
Thursday, May 23 2013 7:44 PM EDT2013-05-23 23:44:12 GMT
Police are investigating after elementary school kids in Johnson County allegedly had $30,000 stolen from them. Families at Valley Park Elementary, which is located off of West 123rd Street in OverlandMore >
Police are investigating after elementary school kids in Johnson County allegedly had $30,000 stolen from them.More >
Friday, May 24 2013 7:31 PM EDT2013-05-24 23:31:26 GMT
A nurse who serves on the Kauffman Stadium K-crew was able to revive a 14-year-old girl who collapsed during Thursday night's game.The girl was dancing in the upper-deck stands when she suddenly collapsed.More >
A nurse who serves on the Kauffman Stadium K-crew was able to revive a 14-year-old girl who collapsed during Thursday night's game.More >
Friday, May 24 2013 2:17 PM EDT2013-05-24 18:17:17 GMT
A water main break in south Kansas City left two churches and about 20 homes without water Friday.Kansas City water crews hope to have water restored later Friday. The 6-inch water main broke about 7 a.m.More >
A water main break in south Kansas City left two churches and about 20 homes without water Friday.More >