Two boys believed to have intentionally set flame to a playground at James Wilson Park in Temple have been referred to juvenile probation, and police say one of the boys has been connected to the vandalism of an abandoned Temple school.

Investigators cannot release the names of the suspects due to their age.

The two allegedly set fire to the playground at 2205 Curtis B. Elliot Drive shortly before 6 PM, Wednesday, June 29.

Firefighters arrived at 6:03 PM and quickly extinguished the flames, but the playground was a total loss. Investigators estimate it will cost around $250,000 to replace. A nearby tree was also damaged.

No injuries were reported.

According to our news partner, KWTX, one of the two boys, along with five others, has been sentenced to juvenile probation in connection to the vandalism of the 60-year-old, abandoned Emerson school building at 1400 E. Ave. B earlier this year.

On July 16, the Temple Daily Telegram reported that the Emerson vandals - all between the ages of 9 and 14 – may have caused as much as $2 million in local property damage in the past few months.

The Telegram article went on to say that Wilson Park facilities received graffiti and other damage from January 1 to July 7, and that other parks in the city have been targets of vandalism as well.

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