Community rallies after 'devastating' arson attack

Residents have showed their support following the incident
Residents have showed their support following the incident

“Mindless” vandals have destroyed a play area which the children of the community had used for a decade in a suspected arson attack.

The community has rallied together to begin raising the £40,000 needed to replace the playground in Jubilee Park, in Fangfoss, after it was turned to ashes in a ‘devastating’ fire.

Before and after the fire

Before and after the fire

All that remains of the wooden play structure is the remnants of the slide and part of the swing set.

The replacement and clear up of the site is expected to cost £40,000 as it is looks “more like months than weeks” before a replacement is installed.

A Just Giving page has been set up following the fire in the early hours of Sunday May 7 which has already raised more than £2,500.

Pamela Broughton, a Jubilee Park volunteer, said: “It’s just devastating. The park is run by volunteers. Everything that’s in there we have had to raise money for, it’s just a beautiful park. It was a big shock for everyone.”

A dog walker discovered the fire at around 7am on Sunday morning (May 7) and Humberside Fire and Rescue were called. Mrs Broughton received the news and raced down to the park, along with many others who have supported and used it for years.

She said: “I didn’t imagine that the whole thing would be gone.

“Your heart sinks, so many people have put so much work into it. What’s happened is just so mindless.

“I just wanted to stand there and cry.”

It is believed arsonists also targeted the new under-fives play area which was officially opened just last month. Mrs Broughton added: “It is just charred so thankfully children can continue to use it.”

More than 100 people have donated since the incident on Sunday.

“The response has been wonderful,” she said. “When you’ve had something so terrible happen you tend to just see the bad side of people, but so many people have been so supportive and are willing to give up their time and money. It’s just wonderful.”

In a letter sent to resident, Bob Broughton, of Jubilee Park Committee, said: “The equipment was not insured as the cost was prohibitively high and unfortunately it is likely that the park will be without it for a number of months.”

He added: “We will rise from the ashes!”

One supporter wrote: “So sad that anyone can be so unkind. Everyone works so hard there.”

While another posted: “Couldn’t believe the news and so saddened that someone would destroy something that has brought my family and the community I live in so much pleasure.”

Humberside Fire and Rescue has confirmed the fire was caused deliberately.

A spokesman for Humberside Police said: “Investigations are underway and the fire is being treated as arson.”

Donate at www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/jubileeparkrestorationpage or send a cheque addressed to Jubilee Park Phoenix Fund to The Pottery, Fangfoss YO41 5QH.