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North Delta’s Chalmers elementary fire deemed suspicious

The playground was ablaze in the early hours of Wednesday morning
Chalmers Elementary’s playground was the scene of a potential arson early Wednesday morning. Tracey Schroeder/Facebook photo

Delta police have deemed a fire at Chalmers Elementary School suspicious after the playground was ablaze early in the morning on Wednesday, Aug. 9.

Delta police and fire departments were called to the school at about 4 a.m. after neighbours woke up to see 30-foot flames coming from the playground.

According to Delta Fire chief Dan Copeland, there was no threat to the school. Firefighters were able to put out the flames in about 20 minutes, although Delta Police public affairs coordinator Sharlene Brooks said the bark mulch around the playground aggravated the situation.

Police are treating the fire as a potential arson. One resident reported seeing a man running westbound down 73 Ave. from the area. K9 units were deployed to track any suspects, however, pedestrians were around the scene and the dogs could not follow any trail.

The suspect was described at a six-foot Caucasian male, of medium build. He was wearing a black ball cap, a grey and brown track jacket and jeans.

Local resident Tracy Schroeder, who called the fire department that morning, said this was the second fire at the playground in six years. The damage to the playground is a minimum of $5,000.

Chalmers PAC had been fundraising to replace the second playground at the elementary school, which is in need of repair.