Arson suspected in fire at New Jersey playground for kids with special needs

WOODBRIDGE, New Jersey (WABC) -- Police are searching for the person responsible for setting fire to a New Jersey playground for children with special needs.

The playground fire was reported Wednesday evening just before 6 p.m. at Matthew Jago School #28 in Woodbridge.

First responders were able to quickly extinguish the fire, but the blaze left damage behind. Authorities say they are investigating the incident as a suspected arson.

"It's just heartbreaking. My daughter was crying in the back of the car 'what are the kids gonna do in fall when school starts' just very upset," a concerned parent said Thursday.

The Matthew Jago School #28 "Boundless Playground was built in 2008 with a $250,000 grant. It is a fully accessible playground designed for children with special needs of all ages, skills and experiences.

"There are 60 different pieces of equipment that are all handicapped-accessible. A kid in a wheelchair can get up on the apparatus. It is just a fantastic place," Mayor John McCormac said.

This fire isn't the first time a playground in the community has been burned. In 2009 someone set fire to a playground in the Avenel section of town and in 2012, a deliberately set fire destroyed a school playground in the Colonia neighborhood.

It does not appear the fires are related, but officials hope anyone with information will come forward.

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