Harrogate play park blaze confirmed as arson – police arrest eight teenagers as enquiries continue

A fire which destroyed an adventure play park in Harrogate has been confirmed as arson.

North Yorkshire Police have arrested eight local teenagers in connection with the incident at Valley Gardens, which occurred during the early hours of Saturday 8 October 2011.

One of the teenagers remains in custody for questioning, three have been released on bail pending further enquiries and four have been released with no further action.

To recap, police and firefighters were alerted to the scene at 2.55am following reports of a blaze at the play park. A wooden fortress structure was completely burnt out but thankfully the emergency services quickly established that nobody had come to harm.

Detectives from Harrogate CID have been conducting multiple lines of enquiry to help identify those involved and Crime Scene Investigation officers have attended the location to gather forensic evidence. Fire and Rescue fire investigation officers have also made examinations into the cause of the blaze which is now being treated as deliberate.

DC Helen Quaife said:

There has been a significant reaction in the local community condemning the actions of those responsible and people coming forward to assist the police with enquiries.

The play park is hugely popular with residents of Harrogate and the surrounding area, and the damage caused by this blaze will no doubt impact widely.

While the investigation is progressing well with a number of arrests made and other people assisting enquiries, it is still vital that all information is passed onto the police or Crimestoppers as a matter of urgency.

If you can help the investigation, please contact DC Helen Quaife at Harrogate CID on 0845 60 60 24 7 quoting reference number 12110170679.

Information can also be passed on anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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