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Kingston Park playground in Lisle burned down, arson suspected

Published: Friday, Aug. 16, 2013 2:20 p.m. CDT • Updated: Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013 7:11 a.m. CDT
Caption
(Matthew Piechalak)
The playground equipment at Kingston Park, 5601 Kingston Ave. in Lisle, remains cordoned off Friday following a fire Tuesday. Matthew Piechalak – mpiechalak@shawmedia.com

LISLE – The Lisle Park District is asking the community to help find the person they think is responsible for burning down the playset at Kingston Park early Tuesday.

A fire was set at the playground around 4:40 a.m. Tuesday, destroying the playset, according to Dan Garvy, director of parks and recreation with the Lisle Park District.

Garvy said authorities and the park district "are sure" the incident was arson, but he wasn't optimistic of any clues or evidence that would lead to a suspect.

"Unfortunately we're going to have to rely on word of mouth from neighbors or anyone in the community," Garvy said Friday. "It's really disappointing. This time it was the playground, but what's next, someone's garage or house?"

The playground equipment was installed in 2003 at a cost of about $20,000, he said.

A claims adjuster was at the park surveying the damage this week. Garvy expects insurance to reimburse the park district for the full value and reconstruction of the park, but a new playground likely won't open until the spring.

"That's the real sting of this. I was out there the other day and a grandmother and her granddaughter were looking to use the playground and said they came [to Kingston Park] all the time. Now they're going to have to find somewhere else," he said, adding that the park was the only one in the immediate area of the Meadows subdivision.

"It's more of a loss of opportunity than it is a loss property."

While vandalism is an issue in many area parks, the Lisle Park District hasn't had destruction of this magnitude since 2004, when a fire did damage at Oak Hill South Park, Garvy said.

Kingston Park is under the jurisdiction of the DuPage County Sheriff's Office, as it sits on unincorporated land.

He asked neighbors of parks to be vigilant and if any suspicious activity is seen to call 9-1-1.

"If you see any unruly or suspicious behavior, take action," he said.

Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to call the DuPage County Sheriff's Office at 630-407-2400.

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