Another suspected arson at a Fairfax County elementary school playground


SPRINGFIELD, VA — In just over a week, another Fairfax County Elementary School playground caught fire in what is a suspected arson case.

The larger playground at Greenbriar West Elementary School in Springfield, VA caught fire at 5:40 p.m. on Monday, October 10 and caused approximately $35,000 worth of damage.

“The community is worried and scared and the kids are wondering what’s going on,” said Stella Pekarsky, whose children go to the school and is the PTA-Board president.

“Hopefully, we are just looking forward to see if police can do their job and maybe catch the people that did it,” added Rasheed Gidado, another parent.

This is the second suspected arson at a Fairfax County elementary school playground in just over a week. The first happened back on October 2 at Lees Corner Elementary School.

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Chief Richard Bowers said the damage between the two fires is over $50,000.

“Unfortunately, that leaves the young children without a place to play or, if you will, at least a place to play on, in terms of equipment,” added Bowers.

Parents at Greenbriar West added the playground that was burned had extra meaning as it was dedicated to a teacher who died from cancer several years ago.

“My kids, my ninth grader had her, my sixth grader had her. So, it was a special playground. We’re disappointed as a community. Very disappointed. We hope they catch them, whoever did it,” said Pekarsky. She said it was dedicated in the memory of former P.E. teacher, Leslie Lynk.

Crime Solvers of Fairfax County and the Fire Marshals Office are offering a reward of up to $1,000 for any information that leads to an arrest or case closure. Tipsters can remain anonymous.

Anyone with information can contact Lt. Richard Gundert at 703-246-4711 or Batt. Chief Kerwin A. McNamara at 703-246-4386 with the Fire Marshals Office.

You can also go to to send a secure email, call the tip line at 1-866-411-8477, or text tips to 274637 (text “TIP187” plus your message).