Neighbors respond after fire at park

  • Tue Jul 27th, 2010 9:46pm
  • News

By Rikki King Herald Writer

STANWOOD — Less than 36 hours after arson destroyed much of the Lake Goodwin Community Park playground, families and neighbors began making plans to rebuild.

The fire, reported about 6:30 a.m. Monday, destroyed a two-story pirate ship play structure and scorched much of the surrounding equipment. The Snohomish County Fire Marshal’s Office continued to follow up on tips Tuesday after determining that the fire was purposely set.

The fire caused about $100,000 in damage, mostly to the ship and the bark underneath, County Parks Director Tom Teigen said Tuesday. The playground likely will be closed for the rest of summer, but the restrooms, parking areas and beaches remain open.

Teigen was at the park Monday as families who use it came by to express anger and disappointment.

“Each time a new family group would come in, you could see that kind of disbelief in their eyes,” he said.

However, Teigen is already receiving a number of calls and e-mails from those who want to help. It’s too early for concrete plans, but fundraiser ideas so far include community barbecues and Zumba exercise classes.

By the end of the week, county officials should have a better idea of how much time and money it will take to rebuild.

The ship is gone and its foundation is likely compromised, but the concrete footings and steel mounts for the other structures might be salvageable, Teigen said. They’ve installed construction fencing around the playground to keep out any kids who might think the remaining structures look safe.

Lake Goodwin Community Park was opened and dedicated in 2006. No public money has been identified for the rebuilding effort, partly because the county parks budget is already strained. Depending on fundraising, some new playground structures could be in place by fall, Teigen said.

Investigators ask that anyone with information about the fire call 911 or 800-55-ARSON.

A reward of up to $10,000 is being offered for information that leads to the prosecution of the person responsible for the fire.

Rikki King: 425-339-3449; rking@heraldnet.com.