Arson destroys Massillon playground, causes $80,000 in damage

MASSILLON, OHio - Investigators in Massillon are hoping someone will help lead them to those behind the fire that destroyed the Shriver Park playground.

A chair placed under the playground's slide quickly engulfed the plastic chutes, which only fueled the fire.

"Before we could even get here, half of the equipment was gone," said Massillon Fire Chief Tom Burgasser of the Sunday evening fire.

Frustrating for firefighters is that they had just been at the playground putting out a couch fire that the chief said had been set by a group of juveniles. It was an hour after they left they got the call to return for the playground fire.

Damage is estimated at $80,000, a total loss.

"It's a great asset to the community and we hate to have something happen like this," Burgasser said.

The state fire marshal is aiding in the investigation and a reward is being put together to be used for the arrest of those responsible.

"It's sad that one or two people can change the course of how a community operates. It shouldn't have to be that way and we'd really like to catch the people that did that, bring them to justice and let people know that we're not going to tolerate that around here," said Burgasser.

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