Two juveniles arrested in second Laurel playground fire

Laurel Police arrested two male juveniles after neighbors reported seeing a group of youths start a fire at Granville Gude Park at Laurel Lakes Friday around 8:30 p.m.

When Laurel Police arrived at the park, they saw several youths running away but caught up with them, according to Laurel City Spokesman Pete Piringer.

The park had minor damage, Piringer said.

Police and county fire investigators are questioning the two males that were arrested, and working to determine if Friday's playground fire is related to the fire at Discovery Community Park on March 3 that caused more than $100,000 in damages.

Laurel Police are offering a reward, up to $2,000, for information about the Discovery Community Park fire that leads to an arrest and conviction. Discovery Community Park is located at  Harrison Drive and Greenhill Avenue in the Fairlawn neighborhood.

The wind-fed fire destroyed equipment in the south area of the park, where the ground is covered with rubber material, and a three-person plastic slide melted into a puddle of plastic, causing what Piringer called “significant damage.”

The first day after the fire swept through the playground, business owners and volunteers had already contacted city officials, offering to help rebuild the equipment, Laurel Spokesman Pete Piringer said, adding that the city does have funds to rebuild.

Discovery Community Park was built in 1993, with volunteers providing most of the labor in a barn raising-type build day. Director of Parks and Recreation Mike Lhotsky said the park was renovated and expanded three years ago, adding more play and seating areas, swings and a slide.

Anyone with information on the fire March 3 at Discovery Community Park or the fire March 8 at Granville Gude Park can call the Laurel Police Department's tip line at 301-498-7645.

This story has been updated.

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