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Three playground fires in Laurel


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Published on: Wednesday, March 13, 2013

By Jim Davis

Laurel Volunteer Fire Department has responded to three fires at local playgrounds in a 10-day span.

Just before 4:30 p.m. Monday, firefighters were called to the Emancipation Community Park at 8th and West streets in Laurel for a reported fire.  

According to Pete Piringer, spokesman for the City of Laurel, firefighters encountered a significant amount of fire throughout the playground. Firefighters extinguished the flames within 20 minutes, but Piringer said the fire caused $80,000 to $100,000 in damage.

On March 3, a fire at Discovery Park, which is only a half a mile away from Emancipation Community in the 1000 block of Harrison Drive, caused about $100,000 of damage to the playground.

Just after 7 p.m. Friday, two teenagers set a fire at the Granville Gude Park, at 8300 Mulberry Street, near the old Laurel Mall.

The fire caused minor damage to the playground, said Piringer. The two teenagers were arrested by Laurel Police, and Prince George’s County fire investigators charged the two teenagers with arson. 

Laurel Mayor Craig Moe said because of the two fires the city is now offering a $5,000 reward for any tips leading to the arrest and indictment of the March 3 fire at Discovery Park and Monday’s fire at Emancipation Community Park’s playground.

Piringer said anyone with information regarding the fires should call the police tip line at 301-498-7645.

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