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Teens arrested on suspicion of setting playground fire in Carlsbad

CARLSBAD — Two teenagers were arrested today on suspicion of setting two fires in Carlsbad, including one that destroyed playground equipment, authorities said.

Dispatchers received a call shortly before 3:50 a.m. from a person who reported seeing flames in a roadway near the Poinsettia Railroad Station on Avenida Encinas, Carlsbad police Lt. Jason Jackowski said.

Emergency personnel responded to the area, but found that the fire had burned itself out by the time they arrived and hadn’t damaged any structures, Jackowski said.

Dispatchers received another call shortly before 3:50 a.m. from a person who reported seeing playground equipment on fire between Saltgrass Avenue and Sweetwater Street, the lieutenant said.

Firefighters arrived and found the playground equipment fully engulfed, Carlsbad Fire Battalion Chief Jeff Chumbley said.

Crews knocked down the flames within 10 minutes and prevented the fire from spreading to other structures, Chumbley said.

Police and fire investigators were called to the scenes of both fires to investigate.

“Early investigation by the Fire Department revealed that the (playground equipment) fire was started by an unknown accelerant,” Jackowski said.

Officers later arrested a 17-year-old girl and a 14-year-old boy, whose names were withheld because they are minors, on suspicion of setting both fires, Jackowski said.

It was not immediately clear where the teens were located or what led investigators to identify them as suspects.

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