Fireworks potentially sparked playground fire at Lombard preschool

Updated 7/6/2020 5:23 PM

A new playground installed at a Lombard preschool will have to be replaced after a Fourth of July fire caused substantial damage to the equipment, officials said Monday.

Lombard Fire Chief Rick Sander said there's a "good possibility" fireworks caused the blaze, and police are investigating. Firefighters responded to the playground at the John Schroder Early Childhood Center about 11:30 p.m. Saturday.


"There was considerable damage to the playground," Sander said.

Emergency officials were contacted after smoke was seen near the building at 1519 Grace St., Lombard Elementary District 44 Superintendent Ted Stec said in a letter to families.

"Portions of the playground and field were on fire, potentially caused by fireworks being set off near the school. An investigation is still ongoing," Stec wrote. "Sadly, though, the playground was substantially damaged and will require entirely new equipment."

The district had put in the playground prior to the end of the school year.

"While I am grateful that our building was not impacted, and that fire officials were able to respond swiftly to the blaze, I know this is a very disheartening event," Stec said. "We all were anxiously awaiting the return of our students to provide them this extension of their learning experience here at John Schroder."

There were no reports of injuries or damage to other structures, Sander said. Damage estimates weren't immediately available.

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