Palo Alto police are investigating a fire that burned down a play structure at Hoover Park Wednesday night.
The fire occurred at about 11 p.m. in the east end of the park, which is located on Cowper Street in Midtown Palo Alto. Firefighters and police officers arrived at the scene to discover the structure, a combination of a slide and jungle gym, fully engulfed in flames. After talking to area residents, officers learned that several juveniles were seen in the park just before the fire erupted, Detective Agent Brian Philip said.
Philip said investigators are working to determine whether or not the blaze was intentionally set.
The fire was quickly extinguished, Philip added, but the play structure was deemed a total loss.
Greg Betts, Director of the Community Services Department, said the estimated cost to replace the structure would be between $50,000 and $75,000, Betts said.
The burned structure was located at the small playground on the east end of the park, near Keys School. The park also has a larger, more central playground on the western portion.
Betts said the city plans to replace the structure as soon as possible.
"This will be a top priority," Betts said. "This is an important playground for both Hoover Park and for Keys School."
Police are asking anyone with information about the fire to either call 650-329-2413 or to e-mail an anonymous tip to firstname.lastname@example.org.