Playground arsons on Viscount Road rise to five
An investigation is underway after what appears to be two more attempts to set fire to playground equipment on Viscount Road.
Firefighters were called to the playground at St. Jude Elementary School early Thursday morning to put out a small fire that caused minor damage.
And it appears that just 24 hours before, the arsonist tried to set a fire at the same location, and left behind a fire-damaged aerosol can. A police officer reportedly put the fire out with an extinguisher.
It is the third attempt to set fire to the equipment at St. Jude and brings to five the number of arsons in southwest London that have damaged or destroyed playgrounds along Viscount Road.
About a week ago on Aug. 5, the equipment at Jesse Davidson Park was torched by suspected vandals.
At the time, London police released photos of gloves and cloth found at the scene in the hopes it might help identify suspects.
On July 31, equipment behind St. Jude's was set on fire and on July 12, residents discovered a burned out playground set at Arthur Ford Park
So far, all of the parks targeted have been located on Viscount Road, which has led London police to say they were considering the possibility the arsons are connected.
Dave Walmsley, district fire chief, is expressing concern about the use of a pressurized can in the most recent incidents at St. Jude.
"Wherever the weak link in the can is, that's where the explosion is going to occur, and depending on that you can have metal shavings and fragments exploding out."
He adds that while firefighters wear gear to protect themselves, the impact could be devastating to anyone else nearby, including the person responsible for setting the fire.
July 12, 3:23 a.m. - playground equipment behind Arthur Ford Public School destroyed by fire
July 31, 4:39 a.m. - emergency crews respond to fire at playground equipment behind St. Jude's
Aug. 5, 4:09 a.m. - fire at Jesse Davidson Park destroys playground equipment
Aug. 12, 4:08 a.m. - police officer extinguishes fire on playground equipment at St. Jude's, minimal damage
Aug. 13 - fire set on playground equipment at St. Jude's