Arson Suspected in Buffalo Grove Playground Fire

Police say surveillance video shows two kids near park when fire started

By Susan Rivera
|  Friday, Mar 4, 2011  |  Updated 3:24 PM CDT
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Arsonists Torch Buffalo Grove Playground

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Some kids in Buffalo Grove no longer have a playground to play in after a fire last Friday destroyed it.  Buffalo Grove fire and police officials said it’s looking like a case of arson.

Someone called the Buffalo Grove police department last Friday evening to report a fire in the middle of the playground, officials told the Chicago Tribune.  When firefighters arrived at Alcott Park, at 530 Bernard Dr., they say they found the playground ablaze.

It’s estimated that fire is going to cost at least $50,000 dollars to repair equipment engulfed in fire.

"I can’t even express how much it saddens me to see such a wonderful amenity in our neighborhood, that thousands of children enjoy, just senselessly destroyed because some young people have complete disregard for their community or don’t know how to channel their anger in a less devastating way," Mike Terson, the district’s public relations and marketing manager, told the Lake County News-Sun.

Police said they’ve got video surveillance footage that shows two people, who appear to be middle or high school aged, in the area at the time the fire started, reports the News-Sun.

"The park district deals with different forms of vandalism all the time, but this incident is extreme," said Terson.  "I don’t just work here, we live three blocks away from the Alcott Center, and I’ve been bringing my 6-year-old son to this playground since it was built."

So far police do not have anyone in custody.

The incident is at least the third playground fire this year.  In September, roughly $60,000 worth of damage was done to equipment in Oak Forest, and an estimated $80,000 worth of playground equipment in New Lenox was destroyed by fire in April.
 

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