After fire damages popular playground, Troutdale mayor promises - KPTV - FOX 12

After fire damages popular playground, Troutdale mayor promises 'we'll rebuild it'

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Source: KPTV Source: KPTV
Source: KPTV Source: KPTV
Source: Multnomah County Sheriff's Office Source: Multnomah County Sheriff's Office

While investigators search for the people responsible for setting the Imagination Station playground on fire, city officials vow to rebuild the popular play structure.

“What I want to say is hang in there,” said Mayor Doug Daoust. “We’ll rebuild it with everybody’s help.”

The south side of the play structure was destroyed by fire early Saturday morning.

The Gresham Fire Department and the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office are investigating the case as arson.       

Surveillance cameras recorded two suspects, said Daoust.

“When you see two young individuals start the fire, it kind of makes you a little angry, because that’s what you could see on tape,” he said. “But I was just heartbroken to watch the whole thing.”

Daoust was the co-coordinator of the project when community members helped build Imagination Station in 1994.

The fire has also devastated many community members who brought their children to play there.

Lisa Bunce and Kathy Mick brought flowers and stuffed animals to the playground, adding them to a small memorial resting against the play structure’s fence.

One note left read, “In Loving Memory of our Childhood.”

“Her son came here when he was four and five years old, running and jumping off these rocks,” said Bunce. “Her children, my foster children, we all came out here.”

The city has received an outpouring of support from people in Troutdale and surrounding cities, said Daoust.  

“To come back today and see the flowers and the posters and the writings from kids and parents, it makes you feel so good that out of tragedy, there will be a blessing that comes out,” said Daoust.

Daoust said the city is working with its insurance company to find out how much it will cover.

The city is accepting donations in person or by mail. Checks can be made out to “City of Troutdale” and sent to City Hall, 219 E. Historic Columbia River Highway, Troutdale, OR 97060.

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