Fire destroys daycare playground

HOUSTON The men explained what happened and why they had to help. They saw the smoke rising at a daycare next to Worthing High School in southeast Houston and rushed over.

"At that time it was scary, I haven't come down yet," said Worthing High School Assistant Principal Andre Mathews.

He very humbly described how he and other Worthing staff and students jumped into action to help small children escape a fire at their daycare. It all started Friday afternoon when a building caught fire near the Sharp Early Child Development Center.

"Those sparks jumped over the bayou from another fire across the fire to land on our playground," said Pam Sailors, VP Neighborhood Centers Inc.

The fire quickly spread across the playground. No children were on the playground, but the flames were still a very dangerous threat so Mathews ran to help.

"The assistant principal there jumped the fence to alert us of the fire," said Sailors.

With intense flames torching the playground, Mathews, other Worthing staff and even students started moving children just a few months old up to age four. From Skyeye HD, one could see Mathews pulling a crib down the sidewalk to Worthing High.

"We also had some seniors, you know, kids who were volunteering to assist gathering the kids and bringing them over here, walking them over here. It was just a beautiful sight," said Joseph Richardson, Worthing High School Assistant Principal.

"The most important thing to us is that our children are safe and we are just so grateful to our friends at Worthing High School," said Sailors.

The Worthing staff said that as educators, they have an instinct to make sure every child is safe.

"You just make sure you do whatever is necessary to make sure every child is safe," said Mathews.

None of the children and staff at the daycare were hurt. The group that runs the daycare has not decided if it will rebuild the playground.

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