(SCROLL DOWN FOR ONGOING UPDATES: Damage estimate, daylight photos, district and PTA comments)
1:30 AM: Response is being downsized; the fire is apparently on/in play equipment outside, no building/interior involvement. Mostly a bark fire, but “some melted play equipment,” SFD reports. Our crew is still en route.
1:54 AM: Our crew reports it’s some climbing-type equipment at the play area on the west side of the school but it’s significantly damaged. We’ll go back for a daylight look later. No official cause of the fire – the marshal’s on the way.
8:12 AM UPDATE: From Kyle Moore at SFD:
Seattle Fire Investigators have classified an overnight fire at a West Seattle playground as undetermined because there was no obvious source of ignition.
At 1:19 a.m. a call came into dispatchers at the Fire Alarm Center reporting a fire coming from the back of a school located in the 5000 block of SW Spokane Street. The first arriving engine company found flames coming from a playground area. Firefighters quickly knocked down the fire which was confined to the wood chips. The heat and flames also melted and damaged the metal and plastic playground equipment. The damage estimate is $50,000.
We will add daylight photos shortly.
9:13 AM: Just back from the school. Photos of the damage, above and below.
We are following up with Seattle Public Schools for starters. Schmitz Park is West Seattle’s most-populous elementary, with more than 600 students expected this fall. It’s scheduled to move into the new school to be built on the Genesee Hill Elementary site, likely in early 2016.
12:05 PM: District spokesperson Tom Redman tells WSB, “The play equipment was new and installed last summer and funded by the District. Our risk and loss prevention manager will inspect the equipment, after which we’ll determine our next steps.”
2:09 PM: We’ve also heard from the SPES PTA – starting with this detailed comment from outgoing president Jeff Rayner.