SOUTH BEND – Fire investigators are being tight-lipped about what may have caused a popular playground on South Bend’s west side to burn. They also stopped short of calling the fire suspicious.
Regardless, local kids who used that playground are disappointed. Crews were first called to the playground at Belleville Park, just off Mayflower Road in South Bend Tuesday afternoon.
Yellow tape and barricades now surround the charred debris that used to be a prized playground.
“I saw a big cloud of fire and I was shocked,” recanted Emma Rybicki, 8, who visits the playground often with her mom Leann and the other kids her mom babysits.
Watching one of her favorite places burn wasn’t easy for Emma.
“I was crying,” she said. “I was really sad because that was the only park close to us.”
Leann Rybicki wants to know who or what started the fire and why, but that’s one question fire investigators say they can’t answer just yet. Even though the playground was only six years old, firefighters say the heat of the day and temperatures well into the 80s Tuesday probably helped it along.