Four juveniles arrested for setting fire to Rockville playground -- Gazette.Net


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This story was updated at 12:35 p.m. Dec. 6, 2012.

Four juveniles are charged in connection with setting a fire that destroyed a playground at the Rockville Civic Center on Nov. 21.

No one was injured in the blaze that caused an estimated $160,000 in damage to the playground, located in the 600 block of Edmonston Drive, according to Rockville Police Maj. Bob Rappaport.

“It is unfortunate because all the playground equipment was destroyed,” said Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Assisant Chief Scott Graham. Graham said investigators just finalized the investigation of the crime but would not release the manner in which the fire was set.

The fire was first reported by a Montgomery County officer on patrol in the area at about 8 p.m. Nov. 21, Rappaport said. When Montgomery County Fire and Rescue personnel arrived on the scene, the playground was fully engulfed in flames, according to Graham.

Rappaport said about 20 minutes later, an officer stopped four juveniles who were walking in the area of Baltimore Road less than a mile away from the scene of the fire. The juveniles admitted to being involved in setting the fire, Rappaport said. The names of the four suspects are not being released because they are minors. The case was referred to the Department of Juvenile Services.

Christine Henry, Rockville’s acting director of recreation and parks, said the Civic Center park playground was originally installed in September 20120. She said some of the rubber safety surface was undamaged by the November fire, but all the playground equipment including climbing equipment, slides and a tower was burned.

“It was a popular playground,” she said. “It is one people would even drive to. People know the mansion and the grounds and folks also would walk to it from their homes.”The playground rebuild is estimated to begin in March when temperatures are warm enough to install the rubber surfacing, Henry said.