By Kimberly Davis


PINE HILL, N.J. (CBS) — A South Jersey community is outraged after a popular playground was torched and destroyed. Police are offering a reward to find whoever set the playground at the Pine Hill recreation center on fire.

All that remains of the playground is a swing. As investigators work to figure out how this fire started, kids are left with just the rubble.

“This is really a quiet neighborhood so I’m sure whoever burned it down had nothing else better to do,” Pine Hill resident Skylar Gordon said.

Flames lit up the sky early Saturday morning on South Club Road in Pine Hill. Police are now working to track down whoever is responsible for this playground fire.

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“Right now we’re investigating this as a suspicious fire. We’re hoping to get information from the community. Anybody with information, we’re asking to come forward. Anybody with like Ring cameras,” Pine Hill Police Department Lt. Christopher Witts said.

The fire caused about $75,000 worth of damage to the Charles Bowen Recreational Complex. To make matters worse, the playground was only 3 years old.

“Big hit to the community, especially because it’s recently purchased and upgraded so it definitely hurts,” Witts said.

Nearby residents tell us they’re still in disbelief.

“I was shocked because you usually don’t see something like this over here. It’s usually a quiet neighborhood,” Pine Hill resident Sheila Worrell said.

“Before there used to be a whole bunch of people here, like families picnicking. It’s just kind of sad to see it now,” Tony Worrell said.

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While there may be a little less to enjoy at the park, for now, police are hoping to find whoever is responsible quickly.

“We’ll take any information we can. Definitely a suspicious fire at this point that we’re investigating,” Witts said.

A concession stand was also damaged in the fire. Police are offering a $1,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest.

Kimberly Davis