A fire burned down much of a playground and its equipment at an elementary school on Regent Street early Thursday morning.
Madison Fire Department spokesperson Lori Wirth said the fire is still under investigation and the blaze’s cause remains unknown. She said a call from a neighbor of Randall Elementary School, located at 1802 Regent St. came in at 12:31 a.m.
Wirth said when the firetruck arrived a 30 feet by 50 feet area was enveloped in fire, which the firefighters extinguished with water and foam. The playground’s total cost is approximately $100,000, but officials have not finished assessing the monetary damage the fire has caused.
She said the cause of the fire is unknown and has not been attributed to arson, although she said the department has not ruled out arson. MFD found a firework container near the scene of the fire and are investigating to see if fireworks caused the blaze, she said.
According to a Madison Police Department statement, shredded tire chips used as a matting for the playground helped to catalyze the blaze. Wirth said that along with the matting some of the playground equipment was also made of recycled rubber products, which can be difficult to extinguish.
“When the investigation is done we will look at everything and keep all options open,” Wirth said. “We will look for things to rule out, and once we do that we can narrow it down to what the cause is.”