Authorities are investigating a suspected arson in Plymouth after a fire destroyed brand new playground equipment, causing $200,000 in damage.
Just hours before city crews were set to install the playground at Plymouth Creek Park, police were called to a fire at the park at 2:20 a.m. Friday.
No one was injured in the fire, but it completely destroyed the elaborate new playground, which cost $80,000 to $130,000 and included a 14-foot sky tower with three slides, swings, a sandbox, kids’ treehouse, climbing wall and other toys.
“It had really nice features; it’s a strike against our youngest residents,” said Barb Northway, the deputy director of the city’s Park and Recreation Department. “It’s really sad. There’s always someone at that park. It’s maddening someone would take that opportunity away.”
The popular park’s old playground equipment had been dismantled and removed Aug. 11 by volunteers from the nonprofit organization, Kids Around the World, to be refurbished, shipped overseas and rebuilt. Now, Northway said it may not be until October before the city can buy and assemble a new playground at the park — the most popular of the city’s 50 plus parks. The total damage: $200,000.
The state fire marshal is assisting Plymouth police in the investigation. The park doesn’t have surveillance cameras, but police hope people with information come forward; call the police crime tip line at 763-509-5177 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.