Officials of the Golder Ranch Fire Department are seeking leads to capture the arsonist or arsonists responsible for intentionally setting fire to a playground in Catalina Neighborhood Park, located at 16562 N. Oracle Rd.
The fire, which was ignited on Tuesday, marks the third time the playground has been targeted in the last four years. Golder Ranch firefighters arrived at approximately 3 p.m. from station 370 with a water-tender and fire engine. The crew had the fire contained in a matter of minutes.
The previous two fires were ignited using matches and paper in one case and ignitable spray in the other.
Golder Ranch spokesman Josh Hurguy said the method used this time around is still under investigation.
“While we are still unsure of the method of ignition this time, we were able to rule out accidental causes,” said Hurguy.
Hurguy said he is unsure why anyone would be repeatedly targeting the playground.
The fire caused $50,000 in damage to the playground, which is the property of Pima County.
Hurguy said the fire damaged no other structures at the park, which is home to a community pool, ramada, and basketball court. Hurguy also reported no injuries in the case.
Diane Luber, the Pima County communications coordinator, said the playground equipment was built in 2000 using $35,000 of Community Development Block Grant Funds.
The Golder Ranch Fire District is asking for the public’s help in the case. Flyers have been posted at the park. Notices can also be found on Golder Ranch Fire District’s Twitter and Facebook sites.
Anyone with any information relating to the incident is encouraged to contact the Arizona Arson Hotline at 1-800-352-7766.
A silent witness can earn up to $10,000 for any information leading to a conviction of an arsonist.
The Pima County Sheriff’s Department is also asking anyone with information to come forward by calling 911 or 88-Crime. There is a $2,500 reward for tips that lead to the arrest and conviction of the suspect or suspects.
More information on safe practices during dry weather can be found at www.grfdaz.gov.