Montgomery County Fire officials are investigating a fire which was discovered at a local playground the Arora Hills neighborhood of Clarksburg.
At about 3:00 pm on Wednesday, May 3, MCFRS units were called to the playground at the Arora Hills Local Park located at 23241 Arora Hills Drive in Clarksburg. Firefighters arrived to find a tree, the soft landing playing surface, two benches, and most of the playground equipment geared toward very young children burning or melting away.
The only thing remaining were the steel supports for the benches and the metal skeleton of the plastic “train” which children would climb on or tunnel through. The plastic fencing around the park was also burned and melted away.
The burned section of the park was taped off with yellow crime-scene take reading “Fire Line Do Not Cross.”
MCFRS senior spokesman Pete Piringer said the cause of the fire was “under investigation” it seemed clear to a number of parents at the park staring and taking photos that the fire must have been intentionally started by someone. Fire officials estimate the playground suffered more than $50,000 worth of damage from the fire.
The park is roughly a block and half from Haley Wells Middle School, and according to Piringer, a number of students that would have walked home at dismissal were sheltered in place as the fire department extinguished the fire.
The park, which is popular with local residents, consists of a good sized playground which is separated into two parts, one with swings and climbing equipment for older kids and a second with apparatus more suited for younger children.
It was the apparatus used by younger toddlers which had burned. Indeed, even an hour after the fire the remaining playground was being used by a number of local children as parents and grandparents lamented the loss of the playground equipment.
One young girl of about 10 was heard to say, “It’s is like part of my childhood has burned away.”
Top: The burned area of the Arora Hills Local Park playground is taped off with crime scene tape after a fire burned most of the playground equipment Wednesday afternoon.
Next: Visitors to the park were greeted with yellow crime-scene tape reading “Fire Line Do Not Cross.”
Next: The fire, which remains under investigation, burned the ground and melted the plastic portions of two benches, and the park’s train climbing attraction.
Next: The melted portion of the blue car is all that is left of the “PlayExpress.”
Next: The fire burned and melted the plastic horse fence around the playground as well as the benches.
Photos by Germantown Pulse