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An arsonist apparently struck McKinley park Saturday, destroying roughly a third of the playground with an early morning blaze.
This video shows the damaged area:
Sac City Fire Battalion Chief Jonathan William told Sacmav.com that someone had set the fire, and that the playground's wooden structure was "fully involved" by the time fire crews arrived. The fire then spread quickly through the plastic and dry wood, he said.
Williams said that the arsonist had ruined the playground for children who would have used it that morning, and destroyed public property.
"All people are doing is destroying city property and the city is going to end up rebuilding it and spending more money where they don't have money to spend," he said.
Councilmember Angelique Ashby reacted to the fire after learning about it through the Facebook page of RanSACkedmedia.com.
"What a sad event for all of the families who enjoy that beautiful park, senseless and disappointing," she wrote, "but we will find a way to replace it - somehow."
Matt Cannaedy lives three blocks away from the park and brings his toddler-aged daughter to the playground five to six times a week. He was there with his daughter Saturday morning, surveying the damage.
"I think this is horrible," he said. "Honestly, I can't understand arson in the first place, but why a children's playground? Why would you do this to the kids? They are innocent. Honestly, I'm speechless on this whole situation. It's really sad."
Latahra Kennedy brings her preschool-aged daughter to the park on a regular basis. She values it for its diversity.
"It has all kinds of nationalities and it's just a wonderful park," she said. "For you to take this away from them, it's hard to find a good playground that you trust."
She had come to the playground on Saturday to let her daughter play and was sadden by what she saw.
"For your children to see the park like that, it's devastating," she said.