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Eric Fetcho

Wow, I didn't hear about this.

Are we sure it was arson? With the weather that we have had lately it's very plausible that a fresh batch of mulch or a cigarette may have caused this.

Someone needs to measure how far away that is from a public entrance to the school, this may have been a casualty because of the smoking ban(Read: sarcastic).

Humor aside, nice use of "sevens" with the emphasis on the final "s". You don't see that written that way much except for in fire specific magazines/print. Most people that haven't been involved in emergency services would not know that "sevens" means FWFD station 7, in this case, engine seven.

Either way, I'm sure/hope it was insured.

Heather Schoegler

Eric - WANE TV said the fire started from the mulch. However, looking at photos of the extensive damage, it might make one wonder. My family have been parishoners for over 40 years and all attended Queen. That said, I hope they are able to rebuild before the start of school this fall.

Jodi Dean

Dependent upon their insurance policy, playground materials should be covered. So hopefully after working with their playground insurance claims adjustor we should know how much funding is actually needed by the parish community to rebuild it.


brian stouder

Good ol' Nancy Nall linked to this entry, and cleverly referred to it as a sort of "Jimmy Olson moment".

Indeed, I almost never have the Kodak with me; or rather – my lovely wife almost never trusts me with it, ever since I lost our camera in Texas last year (but that’s another story!)

But the other day Mitch had an entry on “road lice” yard signs, with a picture of a yellow (pro-school improvement/reconstruction bond), and THAT got my goat!

Anyway – I clattered away on the keyboard, in an effort to respond to Mitch’s road lice entry, which DIDN'T MAKE THE CUT (another Jimmy Olson moment!) – but which DID lead to a very pleasant chat on the phone, wherein we discussed whether or not the blue signs were as profusely scattered around the city as the yellow signs, and particularly in the public right-of-ways. Somehwhere in that discussion, I said to Mr Harper that I was certain that the blue ones were thick on the island between Ewing and Fairfield, where they meet Superior , and I’d take a picture of it. My lovely wife – being as passionate on this whole school bond issue as I am - entrusted me with the camera (!!), and yesterday evening Grant and I saddled up and headed for downtown.

I ended up with a few unimpressive pictures of yellow signs stacked neatly beneath the elevation, and no sign of any blue signs at all! Mitch had saved me from posting a flatly incorrect response, proving once again that everyone (most especially including me!) needs an editor…in fact, buttressing Nance’s ‘Jimmy Olson’ metaphor, since I started out all set to express an opinion, and then got pushed to expend a little bit of shoe-leather, and THEN fell silent!

So anyway – that is how it came to be that Grant and I were heading home on State Boulevard with a camera in the car, and then saw billowing smoke ahead and to the right. Grant said something like “looks like a big fire” and I said something like “nahhhh – gotta be a barbecue pit or some such” and then we got to Queen of Angels, and I could not believe my eyes!! Grant said “Call the fire department!!” and I drove PAST and said “It can’t be what it looks like! Can it?” We turned around – and headed back, and we could hear the approaching siren of a pumper from our neighborhood Fire House, #7.

We parked on State street and finally began snapping pictures, as the pumper arrived and doused the flames. So it was an unusual evening all the way around! Pam went online and submitted some of the photos to the paper, and to our neighbor next door neighbor Channel 15; and – of course – also to Fort Wayne Observed, without which they wouldn’t exist! (all in all, definitely a ‘Jimmy Olson Experience)

Martin Sweigert

Just from the picture, arson would have to be considered. Playground equipment is likely to be constructed of metal and plastic. These materials aren't going to flame up, even on the hottest of days without an excellerant.

Eric Fetcho

Martin - A lot of playgrounds are plastic, metal and also still wood. Some plastics are more flammable than others.

If anyone has ever been to a mulch fire, you know that mulch is very self-combustible when proper conditions are met. Once it starts smoldering it can self-ignite very easily, and spread VERY rapidly. A small, heat caused smolder, would quickly spread to be a large fire and quickly engulf any wood equipment. The mulch itself at this point would be enough of an accelerant to ignite any playground plastics.

Without going out to Q&A I was pretty sure that the equipment seen to the left of the photos, the engulfed portion, were stained or painted wood.

There are countless mulch fires that the city & county fire departments respond to every year. It happens a lot more often than people realize. Not to mention the fact that nearly all of them were a case of self combustion.

Marcus Holloway

What a complete shame! Crud ... I missed out on the news. Thanks for the updates!

Eric Fetcho

I ended up driving past this yesterday. Two things to note. One is all of the equipment that caught fire was completely wooden.

The other is the fact that there was mulch on the ground, but was old. It pretty much rules out the self-combustion theory.

That leaves a few options of the cigarette into the mulch theory and also arson.

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