Investigators look into fire on church playground

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

PHOENIX -- Fire investigators are looking into what caused a large fire to break out on a church playground in Phoenix.

Flames erupted at the Church for the Nations near Central and Bethany Home Roads. The fire actually started out on the property's playground, while the children were in church.

"I was outside working and I saw this huge black smoke, and I thought something crashed," said Richard, who lives nearby.

"The minute I saw that smoke, it was so thick and intense," said Marti, who has been a member of the church for years.

She describes spotting the smoke from her home a few blocks away. "I thought, it's the church!" she recalls. "And I hurried up and got in the car and got over here."

Firefighters managed to douse the flames before it reached the church itself. Kids were kept far away from the flames, on the other side of the parking lot.

But there was heavy damage in the playground, with the fencing burned, the metal scorched and the canopy singed.

Investigators are looking into how the fire started. Some suspect it was deliberately set.

No one was hurt in the fire.