Rugby spectators sprinting to a suspected house fire on Saturday instead found a school playground ablaze.
Professional photographer Andrew Brunton was at Ron Giorgi Park on Saturday at 3pm when he saw "a big plume of black smoke".
"I thought it was a house fire so I grabbed my gear and ran over," he said.
The smoke was coming from Irongate School playground where the playground was on fire while a crowd "of approximately 20 kids" looked on.
"Then the police turned up. When they saw my camera they asked if they could have some of my pictures to help their investigation. I gave them several."
A Hastings fire service crew arrived and extinguished the fire, which was primarily seated in the safety rubber matting.
"They had to use the high pressure hoses and foam to put out the fire," Mr Brunton said.
The playground was destroyed.
"It was mainly wood and they lost a plastic swing as well."