Monday, September 25, 2017 Elyria 64°

Cops and Courts

Several children seen at Lorain playground before fire


LORAIN — A girl seen running from a playground fire Saturday later told police she watched two boys start the fire with a lighter and pieces of paper.

About 2:30 p.m. Saturday, police arrived at Helen Steiner Rice School, 4500 Tacoma Ave. The Lorain Fire Department arrived shortly after police and found playground equipment on fire 30 feet away from the school. They extinguished the fire shortly after arriving.

A witness near the playground told police she saw a boy and a girl running from the fire. While running, the girl yelled to the woman that she didn’t start the fire, a police report said.

The boy and the girl — who are both about 10, according to the fire officials — returned to the scene and spoke with police officers. The girl told police she and the boy were at the playground that day when two other boys came to the playground and used a lighter to ignite pieces of paper.

The girl said the mulch in the playground caught on fire and the flames spread to the playground equipment, according to the report.

The fire melted part of a slide and burned off the structure’s paint.

Firefighters found a green lighter at the scene after they extinguished the flames, according to fire officials.

Police looked for the two children who they believe may have started the fire but couldn’t find them on Saturday. The school is reviewing surveillance tapes to see if they can get a better description of the suspects.

Contact Anna Merriman at 329-7245 or Follow her on Twitter at @AnnaLMerriman.

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