Third Playground Fire in Laurel

Police are investigating the third playground fire in Laurel in a little more than a week.

The most recent fire was Monday afternoon at the Emancipation Community Park playground on Eighth Street, near the Laurel Library. Firefighters received a call around 4:30 p.m.

Many nearby neighbors walked by to see the damage Monday afternoon after smelling the melted plastic. They say they're frustrated this has happened again.

"It's really sad and heart-breaking..." said Laurel resident Caleb Collins. "People play on them all the time. They need to stop because people could get seriously injured."

Laurel Parks & Recreation Director called the playground a total loss, and estimated damages at $80,000-$100,000. No one was injured.

"It hurts me to see the playground like that," said Tenaya Gibson of Laurel. "This is the playground we've been coming to since we were babies."

Over the weekend, Laurel police arrested two teenages in connection with a small fire at the Granville Gude Park playground. Damage was minimal and police did not link that fire to any other cases. But now they're looking to see if the fires are related.

On March 3, fire broke out shortly before 4 p.m. at Discovery Community Park on Harrison Drive. Nothing from that playground was salvaged. Damage was estimated about $100,000.

"You must have no heart to do that," Caleb Collins said.

Laurel is offering a $5,000 reward for information that leads to arrests and convictions. Call the tip line at 301-498-7645.

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