Mysterious fire at Holliday Park forces closure of playground area

Fire destroys playground equipment

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A mysterious fire has forced the closure of a north-side park’s playground area and stunned the staff members who work there.

The fire damaged equipment in the toddler section at Holliday Park. That’s at 6363 Spring Mill Road, between West 64th Street and Kessler Boulevard.

Right now, staff members have no idea what caused the fire. They said they left work Tuesday night and came back Wednesday morning to find the damage.

Unfortunately, the park doesn’t have cameras set up in the area, so they don’t know what exactly happened. All park officials can really say at this point is that they’re disappointed to see the damage. 

“I think we’re hopeful that this was an accident,” said Indy Parks spokesperson Ronnetta Spalding. “That something that we are not able to pinpoint right now happened.”

Charred and melted, the toddler section of the Holliday Park playground sits closed to the public after the fire burned through the equipment.

About half the play place was burned away, but thankfully the fire stopped on its own.

“All of us were like ‘how can something like this happen?’ We, of course, all started, our minds went crazy,” said Dan Boritt, manager of Holliday Park. “We started thinking about things and then we had the fire investigators come in and, obviously, they’re the ones who know what they’re looking for.”

Park officials say the community has been behind them as they’ve learned about the fire, but until they know what the next step is, they don’t have a way for the community to help.

“It’s really just, kind of an important kind of place here for people in this community as well as people, I think, around the city,” said Spalding. “So we are just very heartened by that and want people to know that we appreciate them and we want them to still come to the park. We hope that the toddlers can find some other equipment that would work out for them or maybe just hanging out with their families and their siblings will do for now until we figure it out.”

While the fire was unexpected, replacing the equipment wasn’t. The play place is 13 years old, so staff members said it was about time for the park to look into upgrading.

“It’s one of the more heavily used playgrounds in the area,” Boritt said. “So, we want to do something that lives up to that tradition. Something that is great. So we’ll, this will jump start the process a bit and we’ll really have to start pouring some attention into this.”

New details about the investigation into what caused the fire are expected to be released in the next couple of days. As new information develops, News 8 will provide updates on air and online.