HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – A playground fire in Hartford is being investigated as suspected arson, according to fire officials.
Firefighters responded to Granby Street for the report of a fire around 12 p.m. When crews arrived, they located a large tire on fire, which spread to the playscape.
The playscape was heavily damaged, but no injuries were reported.
On Wednesday, Hartford police announced that two juvenile males, a 12-year-old and a 15-year-old were charged in connection with the fire. Both were charged with reckless burning, risk of injury, and reckless endangerment.
The juveniles were released to the custody of a parent.
The Department of Public Works used heavy machinery to remove charred remains from the grounds, and before leaving, put up wooden barriers with caution tape to keep people from walking through the scene.
Hartford police said the juveniles allegedly rolled a large truck tire under the playscape and set it on fire.
LaToiya Wells, a Hartford resident, living across the street from Cronin Park was in disbelief when she saw the playscape on fire.
“The sky was billowing with black smoke and the red flames were hot,” said Wells.
She recorded the fire on her cell phone. Wells said she rushed down to the park to check on the family that was enjoying the splash pad next to the playscape.
Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin released the following statement:
“It’s a shame that anyone would do this to a public space that belongs to our kids, and we’re thankful that no one was hurt. We are assessing the damage, but we plan to rebuild the playground.”
The city has plans to get the neighborhood their playground back.
No additional information was released at this time.