‘Suspicious’ fire destroys observation deck at Park Forest park
June 28, 2012 3:50PM
A fire Wednesday morning destroyed an observation deck at Central Park in Park Forest, according to village officials. | Supplied photo
Updated: July 30, 2012 6:27AM
A suspicious Wednesday morning fire that destroyed an observation deck at Central Park in Park Forest remained under investigation Thursday, village spokesman Jason Miller said.
Fire crews dispatched to the park at 5:06 a.m. found the 15-foot wooden deck, which is in the center of a 45-acre wetland, engulfed in flames, the village said in a news release.
Village officials estimate the replacement cost at $10,000, the release said.
“It is extremely disappointing that something like this would happen to a major amenity in our community that so many enjoy, and now we have to face the unfortunate situation to either leave it unrepaired or spend a considerable amount of tax dollars to replace it,” Mayor John Ostenburg said in the release. “We have to establish if somebody did this consciously or accidentally, but in either case, they need to be held responsible.”
Fire crews had to use fire extinguishers to put out the fire due to the limited access at the site, according to the release. An empty cigar wrapper found at the scene indicated the fire may have been accidentally set, the release said.
The observation deck was installed in 2004, funded largely by a Park Forest Rotary Club donation.
Anyone with information about the fire is asked to call the Park Forest Fire Department at (708) 748-8390.