Two Playgrounds Torched at Fairfax County Elementary Schools

Playgrounds at two Fairfax County elementary schools were set on fire this month.

The playground at Lees Corner Elementary School on Hollinger Avenue in Fairfax was set on fire shortly before 10:30 p.m. Oct. 2, said Crime Solvers of Fairfax. The playground sustained damages of more than $16,250.

The playground at Greenbriar West Elementary School on Poplar Tree Road in Fairfax was set on fire at about 5:40 p.m. Monday. That fire resulted in $35,000 of property damage.

“We don’t want to call it arson just yet, but we’re suspecting that,” Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department Battalion Chief Willie Bailey said.

Lori Cleveland, principal of Greenbriar West, sent a memo to parents and guardians of students confirming that there were no injuries and that no other portion of the school was damaged in the fire.

Cleveland said she is working with the school district to have replacement equipment installed as soon as possible.

"I also wanted to let you know that I spoke to students and staff members on the WGBW news show this morning to share my sadness about the incident," she wrote. "I reassured everyone that they are safe here at school and that the police and fire departments are investigating what happened to our playground."

"People do bad things for reasons we don't know, and unfortunately a bad thing happened at your school, but you're safe," Parent Teacher Association President Stella Pelsky said. "The teachers take care of you."

Anyone with information on the person or people responsible is encouraged to contact the Fairfax County Fire Marshal's Office at 703-246-4711 or 703-246-4386. Those wishing to remain anonymous can contact Crime Solvers of Fairfax by texting "TIP187" plus their message to CRIMES (274637).

This story has been updated from an earlier version.

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