IFD investigating playground fire at east side preschool

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A playground at an east side preschool caught fire Tuesday afternoon.

Fire officials say 50 children at Francis Bellamy Preschool Center 102 were evacuated. All of the 4 to 5-year-old kids were uninjured and returned to the school.

Firefighters were called to the scene in the 9400 block of E 36th Street at about 1:20 p.m. When crews arrived at 1:25 p.m., the playground was fully involved.

The playground sits adjacent to the school inside a locked gated area. IPS staff unlocked the gates for firefighters. A small amount of smoke entered the school through upper exterior vents and a gym door.

The fire was under control within 15 minutes of arrival. Battalion Chief Dennis Gavaghan estimates it caused $60,000 in damage.

Schools officials told firefighters that area residents alerted them to the fire.

The cause of the blaze remains under investigation.

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