Firefighters and police officers put out five small fires set by vandals near Floyd Dryden Middle School this morning.
A police officer on patrol at around 1 a.m. spotted smoke coming from the Adair-Kennedy football field.
He found two trash cans aflame on the bleachers and a car tire burning beneath the stands. The officer also discovered a flaming trash can near the school and an additional trash can that had been torched but had burned itself out.
The trash can fire closest to Floyd Dryden was in the entryway of the school but it did not damage the building, the police said.
"They were probably burning for a while because the automotive tire was burned down to its steel belts," said Capt. Dave Boddy of the Glacier station of Capital City Fire & Rescue. "There might have been some accelerant used, because it is pretty hard to light a tire."
The bleachers are made of metal, so they did not ignite, Boddy said. Had the fire been larger, it could have damaged nearby wooden structures including the press box, he said.
"This time of year you've got a lot of people with a lot of time on their hands," he said. "If you've got people maliciously burning trash cans and tires, who knows what else they will target?"
Police searched the surrounding area but found no clues, according to reports. Their investigation continues.
This is the second small fire police have responded to in two days.
Early Tuesday police found a portable toilet in flames at Rotary Park on Riverside Drive.
The cause of that fire, which destroyed the toilet, was not determined, police said.
Julia O'Malley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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