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Arsonist sets preschool playground on fire in Homestead

Surveillance video shows the playground set at Campbell Academy being set ablaze early Monday morning.
Surveillance video shows the playground set at Campbell Academy being set ablaze early Monday morning.

HOMESTEAD, Fla. – Students at a preschool in Homestead were in tears on Monday when they learned their playground had been destroyed.

Surveillance video shows an arsonist with long hair, who was wearing a ski mask, set the playground, at 1405 NE 8th St., on fire early Monday morning.

“We feel really bad for the children. They really loved this playground,” said Jorge Lopez, the owner of the Campbell Academy.

This is a photograph of the playground in Homestead before an arsonist destroyed it on Monday, detectives said. (FDOFS)

The school owner had bought the pirate-themed playground for the school reopening in February and is offering a $10,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest.

Lopez said there were no threats made to the school and he doesn’t know who would do this.

His message for the arsonist: “If your children were to be here, how would you explain this to them?”

The Homestead Police Department and the Florida Department of Financial Services’ Division of Investigative and Forensic Services detectives are investigating the case.

Detectives are asking anyone with information about the case to call FDOS at 1-877-662-7766 or Miami-Dade County Crime Stoppers at 305-471-8477.

Local 10 News Assignment Desk Editor Emily Hales contributed to this report.


About the Author:

Bridgette Matter joined the Local 10 News team as a reporter in July 2021. Before moving to South Florida, she began her career in South Bend, Indiana and spent six years in Jacksonville as a reporter and weekend anchor.