Police are working to find out who intentionally set fire to a children's playground at a Goose Creek park on Sunday.
To offer tips
Authorities are asking anyone with information about the fire to contact Crime Stoppers at 843-554-1111 or the Goose Creek Police Department tip line at 843-863-5210.
The playground on Fairfax Boulevard caught fire at about 6:05 p.m., according to an incident report.
The park had been evacuated and no one was injured, according to police.
Jessica Shoup, 30, who lives near the playground said the flames reached as high as some tall trees surrounding the equipment.
She said she was on her way home from the dog park with her child when they spotted the fire.
"There were plumes of black smoke," Shoup said.
The Goose Creek Fire Department was able to put the fire out in a few minutes, but the playground was destroyed, the report stated.
The playground cost the city $15,000 when it was purchased about 15 years ago, according to Goose Creek Recreation Director Gary Stuber.
There were no overhead power lines or other sources that could have ignited the fire and police believe it was set intentionally, according to the report.
Two witnesses told police they saw three teenage boys, about 14 years old, running toward North Aylesbury Road, the report stated.
A witness described one of the teenagers as skinny and about 5-feet-8 inches and another having long, dark hair, according to the report.
One of the teens was riding a dark-colored bicycle and the others were on foot, the witness told investigators.
Police did not immediately find evidence for the cause of the fire, but the case remains under investigation. "It's more than frustrating," Stuber said about the alleged act of vandalism.
Shoup hopes the city will work quickly to replace the playground, she said.
"One of the reasons we moved here was because the playground was in walking distance," she said.
The recreation department will file a claim with the insurance company and once they find out how much money they will receive, they can start the process to repair the park, according to Stuber.
First Stuber plans to consult with neighbors about what they'd like to see on the site.
"Maybe they don't want a playground," Stuber said.
Stuber said the park is one of the most visible ones in the city and regardless of what they put there, the city will certainly work to make it beautiful again.
"We will put something back in there," Stuber said. "Hopefully it's what the neighbors want."
Reach Natalie Caula Hauff at 937-5594 or Twitter.com/ncaula.