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Arson causes $30,000 damage to Cottage Grove playground

A cash reward is being offered for information about arson that caused more than $30,000 damage at the Kingston Park playground. (photo by Scott Wente)

Cottage Grove — A cash reward is being offered for information about arson that caused more than $30,000 damage at the Kingston Park playground.

Damage to playground equipment was among four acts of arson in recent days, according to Cottage Grove police.

Police were informed of the playground arson Sunday. The fire damaged platforms, a walking bridge, posts and other equipment. The fire was intentional, deliberate and malicious, police said in a release.

"I'm extremely disappointed and angry in those responsible for burning the new playground equipment at Kingston Park," Mayor Myron Bailey wrote on Facebook. "Whoever did it used some type of high intensity fluid that even melted the aluminum poles!"

There were three other recent arson reports. On Oct. 17, two portable toilets were set on fire at Kingston Park. Four days later, a garbage bin was found burning at Crestview Elementary School. Fireworks were found in the bin. A day after the playground equipment arson was reported, there was a fire in a dumpster at Grey Cloud Elementary School.

The Cottage Grove Public Safety Board is offering a $250 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the Kingston Park arson. Anyone with information is asked to call the Washington County sheriff's dispatch at 651-439-9381. Callers can be anonymous.

Five years ago, arson destroyed the picnic pavilion and damaged playground equipment at Woodridge Park in Cottage Grove.

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Scott Wente

Scott Wente has been editor at the South Washington County Bulletin since 2011. He worked as a reporter at other Forum Communications newspapers from 2003 to 2011.

(651) 459-7600
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