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Eastern Utah elementary school playground burned beyond repair in accidental fire

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Fox 13 News
A playground structure was burned beyond repair during an accidental fire.

Days before kids returned to school in Uintah County, a playground behind Naples Elementary School was damaged by a fire.

Located east of Vernal, the playground behind Naples Elementary School received “substantial” damage on Monday afternoon. Firefighters were able to extinguish the fire but the structure was still heavily damaged according to district officials.

It was determined by investigators that the fire was accidental and was caused by a school maintenance project that took place on the playground earlier that day. Damages are estimated to be $70,000 and the playground structure will need to be replaced entirely.

The first school day for Uintah County School District is on Wednesday, so no students were harmed in the fire. Teachers and school employees were safely evacuated and there were no injuries.

The district says that administrators will develop a plan for recess and will also figure out a way to prevent kids from accessing the scorched playground until it is replaced.