EDUCATION + SCHOOLS

Playground at Naples Elementary School damaged by fire

Aug 22, 2022, 7:30 PM
playground fire...
Naples firefighters work to extinguish hotspots in the sawdust around the equipment in one of the playgrounds at Naples Elementary School on Aug. 22, 2022. The playground structure suffered heavy damage. Photo credit: Uintah School District.

NAPLES, Utah — Officials with the Uintah School District say a fire behind Naples Elementary School did substantial damage to a playground Monday afternoon. 

According to a news release from the district, the fire was reported at about 3:45 p.m. There were no students at the elementary, as the schoolyear doesn’t begin until Wednesday. 

The news release says faculty and staff who were inside the building for training were evacuated through the front door. There were no injuries.

The Naples City Fire Department was able to put the fire out in a short amount of time. However, the main playground suffered significant damage.

Investigators have ruled the fire to be an accident. They say the fire was started from a school maintenance project that occurred on the playground earlier Monday. The employee who performed the work told investigators that he saw no sign of smoke or fire when he completed the project.

According to the news release, a school surveillance video backed up his claim. The video showed the fire started a few hours after the work was completed.

Damage to the playground is at $70,000. As such, the playground will have to be replaced. 

According to the news release, school administrators have a plan in place for recess once school begins on Wednesday. Additionally, administrators are also taking action to prevent access to the damaged playground.

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