Play area fire suspicious

16:00, Feb 10 2014
Arson Birkenhead
SUSPECTED ARSON: An entire section of the playground, that sits behind the swings pictured here, at Birkenhead War Memorial Park has been removed after it was let alight in a suspected arson attack.

Fire has destroyed a popular children's playground in Birkenhead after a suspicious blaze.

Part of the playground at Birkenhead War Memorial Park will need to be rebuilt following the early morning fire on February 2.

The play frame that usually sits behind the swing set has been removed while a replacement is made.

Fire risk management officer Ian Wakeley says he arrived to investigate the scene around 7am.

"I was unable to find any natural or accidental causes which leads me to believe it was deliberate."

At this stage the fire does not appear to be linked to any other acts of arson, Mr Wakeley says, but he will be monitoring fire activity in the future for potential patterns.

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"This type of thing happens too much. It is pointless, mindless behaviour damaging a beautiful park and play area.

"It is there for the children and their parents to enjoy and that is who will be affected most."

Firefighters from Birkenhead Station were called to extinguish the fire.

Station officer Willie McDonnell says, "We've heard that Friday and Saturday nights the park turns into party central.

"You can see that by the amount of booze bottles lying around."

He says it is important that members of the public report any suspicious behaviour immediately.

It is not the first time a playground has been damaged by suspected arsonists.

A wooden platform at Marlborough Park in Glenfield was deliberately set alight around a year ago in the early hours of the morning and required extensive repairs.

North Shore Times