Fireside at Norterra Playground Destroyed by Fire

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fireside norterra playground fire
Non-metal playground equipment and large sail shades burned away at the Fireside at Norterra playground, leaving a charred metal skeleton and blackened boulders. Photo by Karen Goveia

The main playground at Fireside at Norterra’s Community Center was destroyed by fire Monday night, Dec. 4. Now some residents, complaining of a slow response to the blaze, are pushing harder for construction of a fire station in the rapidly growing Norterra area.

[UPDATE Jan. 4, 2018 — A temporary fire station will open Jan. 8 to better serve Norterra.]

Firefighters from Phoenix Station 36 were dispatched Monday evening at 10:40 p.m. and were able to extinguish the fire fairly quickly, Capt. Jake Van Hook told North Phoenix News. Van Hook said Station 36 is the appropriate response unit for the Fireside area, and it took the crew 13 minutes to respond to the call.

The cause of the blaze remains under investigation, he said.

A reward of up to $10,000 is being offered by the Arizona Chapter of the International Association for Arson Investigators, for information leading to the arrest and/or conviction of anyone who may have started the fire. However, the offering of a reward does not mean arson was involved, an official told North Phoenix News. Anyone with information can call 1-800-35-ARSON.

Fire Station 36 is located at at 21602 N 9th Ave., south of Deer Valley Road—about 5.6 miles from the Fireside at Norterra main entrance and community center, with an estimated travel time of 12 minutes, according to Google Maps.

Residents expressed concern over the response time on a community social media page. And, an online petition to build a fire station closer to the Norterra area has been circulating for months. As of this writing, the petition had more than 700 signatures, with a goal of obtaining 1,000, according to the petition. On Friday, Dec. 9, the City of Phoenix announced it would set up and staff an Advanced Life Support Fire Engine within a half mile of Interstate 17 and Jomax Road during peak hours, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

Fireside at Norterra playground
The Fireside at Norterra playground before it burned. In&Out Publications Staff Photo
fireside norterra playground fire
Photos by Karen Goveia

fireside norterra playground fire

fireside norterra playground fire


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Karen Goveia
NoPho resident Karen Goveia joined In&Out Publications in 2009 and is managing editor. Goveia is a Chicagoland native with two decades of experience in the news industry, starting as a reporter for a chain of weekly papers serving Chicago’s suburbs and later serving as managing editor within the chain.
Karen Goveia on Email

Karen Goveia

NoPho resident Karen Goveia joined In&Out Publications in 2009 and is managing editor. Goveia is a Chicagoland native with two decades of experience in the news industry, starting as a reporter for a chain of weekly papers serving Chicago’s suburbs and later serving as managing editor within the chain.

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