Fire damages playground at Cosmo-Bethel Park

Tuesday, July 26, 2011 | 10:25 p.m. CDT; updated 3:44 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, July 27, 2011

COLUMBIA — A fire destroyed playground equipment at Cosmo-Bethel Park on Tuesday evening. There were no injuries.

Columbia fire fighters were alerted by a passer-by and arrived at 5:46 p.m. It only took 3 or 4 minutes to put out the fire, but the playground equipment took heavy damage, according to a news release from the Columbia Fire Department.

The playground equipment cost about $30,000 at the time of purchase, and installation cost $15,000. In today's market, the cost to replace the equipment is between $50,000 and $60,000, according to Fire Department Battalion Chief James Weaver.

According to the release, crews from Columbia Parks and Recreation were called to erect a fence around the damaged playground equipment to keep children from playing there.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. The fire department was unable to say whether arson was involved.

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