Duluth Playground Fire Ruled Arson

By KBJR News 1

October 3, 2011 Updated Oct 3, 2011 at 10:37 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) -- Duluth Fire officials are calling the fire that destroyed an elementary school playground, arson.
The estimated costs of the damages have also doubled.

The playground was brand new this year, students only had a few school days to enjoy the park before it was set on fire early Saturday morning.

It was a cab driver who called in the fire after he drove by and noticed the park was engulfed in flames.

Firefighters arrived on the scene minutes later and were able to quickly extinguish the blaze using foam, but it was already too late.

Authorities have confirmed it was the work of arson, because there's nothing flammable around the park.

"I don't think any of that stuff would light with just a match. Most likely this person had to use an ignitable liquid or something else, they started something else on fire first and it spread to the playground equipment," said Jim Reed, Duluth Fire Department.

The heat from the fire was so intense that the school itself also received some minor damage.

Police have been busy following up with a few tips they've received from the public, but authorities are still asking anyone with information to contact them.

Officials are now saying the damage is shaping up to be somewhere between $80,000 and $100,000.