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Arson at a South Philadelphia Playground: ‘Act of Evil,’ Says Mayor

By John Ostapkovich

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Mayor Michael Nutter is seeing red about the arson that pretty much destroyed a year-old playground in FDR Park, in South Philadelphia.

But he’s also waving some green — announcing a reward in the case.

In the aftermath of the Sunday evening fire, the charred wreckage of the playground, built on a bed of shredded tires, stinks.  Fiberglass, plastics, and rubber burned.

The fire was quickly identified as arson, probably involving some nearby trash and a flammable liquid.

playground arson nutter  ost Arson at a South Philadelphia Playground: Act of Evil, Says Mayor

(Mayor Nutter examines damaged playground equipment. Credit: John Ostapkovich)


Today, the mayor announced a reward fund which had, by the end of the news conference, more than doubled to $11,000, for the arrest and conviction of whoever did this.

Christina Lurie, co-owner with her husband of the Philadelphia Eagles, promises the team will pay to rebuild the playground.

But, Mayor Nutter noted, “we do not anticipate that this playground will be usable during the course of the summer.  But our commitment is that we will get it rebuilt as quickly as possible.”

Much of the equipment was destroyed.  The shredded-tire surface has to be replaced, and even two nearby trees were scorched in what the mayor calls “an act of evil.”


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