NOLANVILLE — Central Bell County Fire Rescue officials said an arson fire Sunday damaged the playground at Richard E. Cavazos Elementary School in Nolanville.
About $30,000 worth of damage was sustained, according to Capt. Jason Woodard.
“More than half of the playground is gone,” Woodard said. What once stood as a rock-climbing wall and slide is now nothing more than melted drips of plastic. The perimeter of the playground is closed off from students by yellow police caution tape.
On Monday, children outside during recess looked at their teacher and asked why such a crime could have occurred, saying: “What happened to our beautiful playground?”
Woodward said the school’s principal is reviewing footage from the school’s security camera for any clue as to who might be responsible for setting the fire.
The fire did not damage any classrooms, and the cleanup and replacement of the damaged playground equipment will begin after the investigation is completed, a spokesperson for the Killeen Independent School District said.
Sunday’s fire marked the second time a fire at a KISD campus was deemed an arson in the last six months.
In September, a major fire occurred at the Gateway Middle School in Killeen, causing an estimated $880,000 worth of damage and forcing the district to relocate about 100 students to another facility for the remainder of the school year. That arson is still under investigation by Killeen authorities.
Two other fires were reported in Nolanville in the past two days.
Woodard said a thrown cigarette is to blame for a grass fire that began around 2:24 p.m. Sunday in front of Mayflower Moving and Storage. Crews had to block traffic for 30 minutes until the blaze was contained.
Another grass fire was reported around 5:52 a.m. Monday in the 8600 block of U.S. Highway 190 near Nolanville Hill.
No injuries were reported from either grass fire.
Contact Chris McGuinness at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7568. Follow him on Twitter at ChrismKDH.