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PHOTOS: Fire Officials Provide New Details on Rockville Civic Center Playground Arson

The Department of Juvenile Services is handling the case involving four juveniles, fire officials said.

An arson fire that destroyed playground equipment at Rockville Civic Center Park on Thanksgiving eve caused an estimated $160,000 in damage, county fire investigators said Thursday.

Fire officials for the first time provided details of the arrest of four teenagers whom law enforcement officials say are responsible for the fire. Rockville Patch first reported the incident Tuesday. Temporary fencing and the remains of police tape surrounded the melted and charred remains of the playground equipment Thursday afternoon.

Montgomery County Fire and Rescue personnel responded shortly after 8 p.m. Nov. 21 to the playgroud on the Civic Center grounds at 603 Edmonston Drive, the fire and rescue service said in a news release.

The playground was fully engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived, the release said. Fire units quickly extinguished the fire, the release said.

County fire and explosive investigators and Rockville city police located and arrested four juveniles on the night of the fire, the release said.

The juveniles ranged in age from 14 to 16, Rockville city police Chief Terrance N. Treschuk said in an email.

Their names are being withheld due to their ages, the release said. The case has been referred to the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services.

The playground included climbing equipment, slides and a tower, The Gazette reported. A rebuild of the playground is expected to begin in March, Christine Henry, the city's acting recreation and parks director, told The Gazette.

The fire occurred not far from where an outdoor sculpture was toppled and a bulletin board at the front of Fitzgerald Theatre was smashed in July, 2011. There has been no arrest in that incident, Treschuk said.

Jeff Hawkins December 07, 2012 at 01:01 PM
An absolutely terrible act! Since the "little tikes" have an apptitude for destruction, I would make sure to give them a lesson on construction. Have them personally supply all of the labor to rebuild it, bolt by bolt. A few days working with their "PHD's" (post hole diggers) will work wonders. Families should maybe pony up some cash also......
macadoodle December 07, 2012 at 04:15 PM
Agree with the above suggestion. Make the perpetrators help in the reconstruction of the playground equipment. Old-fashioned hard labor. And do some other community service work as well. If they're not taught a lesson now, they will continue on a destructive path.
sundownsue2u December 07, 2012 at 08:24 PM
My kids, and their friends, loved running around on that playground. They still find it hard to believe, that other "kids" would destroy something made just for kids. Show the juveniles who they really hurt - children who can't play there anymore now and are saddened by the loss - and maybe teach an empathy lesson.
getdebbied December 07, 2012 at 08:27 PM
Seeing this in person last week was heartbreaking.
Brigitta Mullican December 08, 2012 at 12:21 AM
If there are no consequences to this kind of act, this will happen again. Payment and punishment is in order. It is so sad.

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