Playground burns in Woodbridge arson

April 14, 2009 3:26:34 PM PDT
Authorities are trying to determine who would set fire to a playground in New Jersey. The arsonist torched tens of thousands of dollars worth of new equipment, leaving kids out of luck. The playground is in Avenel, in Woodbridge Township.

Danielle Dirmeitis, 12, was surveying the damage Tuesday and can't believe how senseless the incident was.

"Terrible," she said. "It's all new. It's horrible what they did."

The 5th District Park abuts Dirmeitis' home. She was in her kitchen around 10 p.m. Monday when she was startled by flames shooting out from the jungle gym.

Her parents called 911.

The blaze melted away the slide, burned the mulch and basically turned a youngsters' playground into a charred carcass.

"We're very saddened by this, sickened by it, especially since we just got it up this spring," Woodbridge Mayor John McCormac said.

Woodbridge Township spent $65,000 last year installing the brand new playground. Now, they're asking for the public's help in finding the vandals.

All this left 10-year-old Jason Duczeminsky feeling sorry for the little ones who lost their playspace and, furious at the arsonist who took it all away.

"They should go to jail," he said. "It's a whole big community thing."

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WEB PRODUCED BY: Bill King


NEW YORK AND TRI-STATE AREA NEWS

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