NEW PLAY AREA FOR DISABLED CHILDREN DESTROYED BY VANDALS
A NEW play area with swings and slides specially designed for disabled children was “ruined” by a fire in the middle of the night.
Families in North Cornelly, Bridgend, have been left devastated following the blaze, which ripped through the park at Heol Las before midnight on Saturday.
Ryan James, 38, from Heol Degwm, said he felt “gutted” about the incident.
He said his wife Reann, 36, started campaigning for the facility years ago so their disabled daughter Ashley and their other children would be able to play together.
Ryan explained there used to be some swings at the site, but they wanted playground equipment that was suitable for disabled users.
He said Bridgend Council upgraded the park to include a roundabout that could accommodate wheelchair-users and a slide designed for children with autism.
The work took about a year and had only recently been completed.
Ryan said the park was enjoyed by all of the children in the local community and was “heaving” in the sun on Saturday.
He added: “When I heard about the fire, I didn’t want to believe it. I’m absolutely devastated.”
Ryan walked to the play area yesterday morning and saw the area had been cordoned off by the police.
He believes the fire centred on a slide on a hill in the park and a tunnel, which was left blackened and charred after the fire.
Emergency services were called to the incident at Heol Las in North Cornelly just before 11pm on Saturday.
Writing on Twitter, a spokesman for South Wales Police in Maesteg said: “The brand new play area at Heol Las [has been] ruined by mindless vandals.”
A spokesman for South Wales Fire and Rescue Service confirmed they were called to the scene at 10.51pm.
One fire crew from Kenfig Hill attended and it took them about half an hour to bring the flames under control using a hose reel jet.
He said the fire involved a wooden structure in the play area.
Fire damage at the play area at Heol Las in North Cornelly, Bridgend