Families in North Cowichan are in shock after one of that community’s favourite playgrounds was set on fire by vandals this past weekend.
The damage is so extensive that kids can no longer use the wheelchair adaptive playground, and RCMP are trying to find out who would commit the heartless crime that’s robbed the neighbourhood’s children of their favourite place to play.
Janice Bro has brought her daycare kids to the Sherman Road playground everyday for years. But today, they’re here to learn from someone else’s heartless crime that’s targeted their favourite place.
“So puddle jumpers I wasn’t going to bring you here because I didn’t want you to see what happened but I think it’s important that you see it. Half of our playground is gone,” says Bro to her four worried daycare children.
“I thought I can’t bring them and then today they said can we go to the park and I thought you know what it’s happened it’s in their neighbourhood they’re going to wonder why we’re not going,” says the Duncan mother of seven.
Early Sunday morning, emergency crews were twice called to the park on Sherman Road.
The first fire was put out, and then as though vandals were still watching the extinguishing, RCMP say it was set on fire again 30 minutes later. This time burning the specially outfitted wheelchair accessible playground beyond recognition.
“And I have some children in my centre that this playground works perfect for them. And now it’s gone. So it’s sad,” says Bro.
“It’s just so unfortunate that somebody thought it was either funny or I’m not sure what their motive would be but to burn down a disabled accessible playground is pretty low,” says Cpl. Krista Hobday of North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP
“Those children are now not going to have an adaptive recreational park that’s accessible to them,” says Bro.
And it may take some time to rebuild, the District of North Cowichan is still looking into whether it will be covered by insurance, because it will cost $35,000 to replace what vandals have torched here.
Anyone with information about this arson is asked to contact North Cowichan RCMP.