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Saskatoon daycare left without playground after suspicious blaze

A suspicious fire burnt down a Saskatoon daycare's playground early Tuesday, September 20th. Slavo Kutas / Global News

Next Generation Learning Centre in Saskatoon is looking for help after a suspicious fire burnt down parts of its playground Tuesday morning.

The fire marshal said the fire began between the hours of 3 a.m. and 5 a.m. Sept. 20, but security footage shows otherwise.

“Some security footage from across the street, they said the fire was burning at about 1:58 a.m.,” said Next Generation Learning Centre Assistant Director Brittany Doucette.

Read more: Saskatoon Fire battle suspicious blaze in single-storey duplex

Doucette said staff, parents, and especially children were devastated after seeing the remains of the daycare’s newly renovated playground.

“Our kids are heartbroken about it too … they’ve lost their stage, their play structure, their house where they made mud pies, part of their creative learning, a part of their learning space.”

The renovation was possible because of a $21,000 grant the daycare received, and it was just finished before August long weekend. Doucette said there are plans now to repair the damage and have the structure rebuilt.

“We’re working with our insurance company on getting it rebuilt, we’re also working with our landscaping company to help put the new turf back in and we’re going to go from there,” Doucette said.

Doucette said so far, the Saskatoon Police Service and fire marshal have said it’s an undetermined arson. For now, Doucette said she continues to encourage the kids to move forward with a positive mindset.

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“The kids have talked about it but we’re trying to explain to them that bad things happen sometimes, and we just have to work through it and move on and try to think positively, so that’s what we’re trying to teach them and trying to do right now.”

A GoFundMe campaign has been created to help with the repairs, which Doucette said she hopes to have done before the snow flies.

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