Police pursue park arsonists
Police are still investigating a deliberately lit playground fire in a Karratha park early last week.
Karratha police and the Department of Fire and Emergency Services were called to a fire at Malster Park about 5pm on the Monday, which was a Pilbara public holiday.
An accelerant was used in the blaze, which burnt plastic playground equipment and some of the metal framework, causing more than $20,000 worth of damage before DFES officers put it out.
Karratha police officer-in-charge Sen. Sgt Andrew Stevens said they had heard children were in the area at the time.
There was no CCTV footage of the park, but Sen. Sgt Stevens said officers hoped someone in the area had seen something or that properties on adjoining streets might have their own footage that could assist police.
The fire is not the first instance of significant property damage in a Karratha park this year. In March, Baynton West Park, including the children’s playground, was hit by a heavy graffiti attack, with derogatory comments scrawled in an overnight incident.
Karratha Mayor Peter Long said the Malster Park fire had caused severe damage to a valued public space.
“The City spends a lot of time and money ensuring playground facilities are maintained to a high standard for the community,” he said.
“It is extremely disappointing that these facilities are clearly not valued by some members of the community as demonstrated by the reckless and dangerous act that destroyed the Malster Park playground.”
He said the playground would remain closed as the City investigated repair options.
Sen. Sgt Stevens said the fire had caused extensive damage.
Police would like to speak to anyone who was in the area from 4pm-5pm last Monday who might have seen suspicious people or activities in the park. To report information to police, call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.