LRFD hopes new surveillance video can help solve playground fire case

New surveillance video in playground fire

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - The Little Rock Fire Marshal's Office has released new surveillance video after Friday's playground fire at Gibbs Magnet Elementary.

No one was injured in the fire, but thousands of dollars worth of playground equipment was destroyed. There were four similar playground equipment fires in Little Rock last summer around this time, but the fire department doesn't believe the Gibbs fire was connected to them. They are labeling it as "suspicious".

The LRFD is hopeful that new surveillance video might provide some clues about what happened and who was involved.

Captain Jacob Lear-Sadowsky, LRFD Public Information Officer, said four people are visible on the surveillance video. In the video, some people walk into the playground area and then some people leave that area near the time the fire developed at Gibbs. 

The LRFD wants people to be clear the individuals on the video are not considered suspects, just persons of interest. They are hoping the individuals in that video, or anyone that may have been nearby, will come forward with information. It's something Little Rock School District Superintendent Michael Poore is also hoping for.

"There might have been people in that area around Gibbs and the public library that could let us know something," said Poore.

Poore said he is sad to see playgrounds targeted over the last year.

"Playgrounds and schools should be untouched because they are a provider for the community and young people," he said. "I am hopeful what happens is a greater awareness of the problem." 

With the school year beginning soon, preliminary plans are underway to bring in replacement equipment.  The district is looking at potentially moving some playground equipment from Wilson Elementary, one of the schools that recently closed, to Gibbs Magnet.

Superintendent Poore said the district does have insurance and is looking into how much their policy might reimburse them.

Anybody with any information or tips can contact the Little Rock Fire Department at (501) 918-3710 and reference Gibbs Elementary.

© 2017 KTHV-TV


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