Nutter promises to rebuild playground that was set fire Sunday

Police officials got a call Sunday night at 9:25pm saying that the playground in FDR Park, less than a year old, was on fire from a deliberate attack from unknown criminals. Mayor Nutter held a press conference Tuesday in the park to find more information on the vandalizers and announce the rebuild by the Eagles Foundation. (ELISE WRABETZ / Staff Photographer)
Police officials got a call Sunday night at 9:25pm saying that the playground in FDR Park, less than a year old, was on fire from a deliberate attack from unknown criminals. Mayor Nutter held a press conference Tuesday in the park to find more information on the vandalizers and announce the rebuild by the Eagles Foundation. (ELISE WRABETZ / Staff Photographer)
Posted: June 21, 2012

The torching of a new playground in FDR Park drew a promise from Mayor Nutter to rebuild it and an $11,000 reward for information on the crime.

"This was an act of evil," Nutter said as he stood before melted plastic and charred fiberglass and metal.

The fire damaged about half the play area and two shade trees. The playground will remain closed until it is reconstructed.

It had just been completed at a cost of $306,000 in October, Nutter said; he called the site "a sacred place for children, for families, for any random individual to enjoy."

A Philadelphia Fire Department official said the fire was set. It was reported to the department about 9:25 p.m. Sunday.

The city will provide $2,500 toward the reward, with the Fairmount Park Conservancy, Friends of FDR Park, Packer Park Civic Association, and local real estate broker, community activist, and former City Council candidate Barbara Capozzi kicking in the remainder.

Nutter vowed to fix the playground and said the Eagles had pledged to make that happen. The team has not yet determined how much it will donate, and the city is not certain of the total cost. Councilman Kenyatta Johnson said he would contribute $100,000 from his district's capital funds.


Contact staff writer Miriam Hill at 215-854-5520, hillmb@phillynews.com or @miriamhill on Twitter.

comments powered by Disqus
|
|
|
|
|