PD: Teens Arrested In Playground Arson

By Arielle Dollinger



Suffolk County police have arrested four Huntington teenagers in connection with a Monday night fire at the playground behind Woodhull Intermediate School.

Huntington Fire Department officials responded to the Woodhull Road school around 7 p.m. on May 26, fire officials said, and put out the fire within 10 minutes. There were no reported injuries and no damage to the school building.

“It was a nice quick and easy one,” Huntington Fire Chief Robert Berry said of the fire.

Three of the teenagers were charged with arson in the fifth degree – a class A misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of one year of jail time – and the fourth had an unlisted charge as of press time on Wednesday, police said.

According to Superintendant of Schools James W. Polansky, the district will “absolutely” rebuild the playground, which now consists of a melted slide and charred play equipment.

“We’re obviously working with the insurance company as we speak, and it’ll happen as quickly as we can work it out to happen,” Polansky said on Wednesday.

The district would like to have the new playground in place for the school’s summer program, Polansky said.

The new playground, he said, will be age-appropriate for the students attending the school.

“That building has served multiple purposes over the past decade, decade and a half,” said Polansky, who has yet to determine the cost of new equipment. “We’re going to certainly make sure that [the new playground] is a good fit for an intermediate level building.”

The school currently educates fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders, but has been used as a kindergarten center. The playground, Polansky speculated, has been around for at least 10 years.