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Concert benefit for owners of school buses set on fire in west Phoenix

Posted at 10:19 PM, Jul 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-28 01:20:33-04

PHOENIX — After seeing our story last week, the community is stepping up to help a school recover from the loss of two preschool buses that were set on fire.

Surveillance video shared with ABC15 showed two people running from the scene as flames were erupting.

With every stroke of a finger, for Arouna and Zaza Diarra, comes a sound of joy and a feeling of hope.

"Because these are our children, of course, and Jenell Jones is our friend,” said Zaza Diarra.

She and Jones work in early education but at different preschools.

Last week, Jones showed ABC15 around the bus cage at her school, Cactus Kids Preschool, located near 75th Avenue and Indian School Road.

Two school buses were burned to their shells.

This new video shows two suspects from a different angles.

A Phoenix Fire investigation task force is working to learn exactly how the fire started.

"We play music from happiness through sadness. So, the first thing that came to my mind was, oh, yes,” said Arouna Diarra.

The 12th-generation musician, from a large west African family, wanted to organize a fundraiser featuring bands.

The owner of the Crescent Ballroom, in downtown Phoenix, is opening his doors to them on Sunday, August 14, 2022 starting at 6:00 p.m.

The proceeds from $15 ticket sales, the Diarras say, would help pay for two new buses for the school.

Both buses were insured but money from the claim won't be enough to buy even one bus.

"If we do not raise a million dollars, we can raise kindness, raise love and raise goodness again, I'll think we have won a great battle,” added Zaza Diarra.

Even though Arouna came up with the idea and shared it with his wife he had some doubt it could work. But, the feedback so far he says, shows it will.

"For the fact, when I reach out to people, and people really come together to support this dream, “ added Arouna.

As for Jones, she's getting ready to take in the sounds and feel the love.

"I think I am overwhelmed, still, with people's generosity and how much they care. When it all happened, I felt no one cared, but to see them come in support of me is just amazing,” added Jones.

The Diarras are still accepting requests, from bands, to play during the fundraiser. You can contact them by emailing at zaza@icareforchildren.com