THE actions of ‘moronic vandals’ who torched a children’s play park have been blasted by residents and councillors.

A small children’s play area off Speedwell Road, Colchester, was left with severe damage after a fire was started by arsonists.

Neighbour Kristina Campbell said she heard an explosion before going outside to investigate.

She said: “After the bang there was a massive cloud of big, black some smoke and it smelled really bad.

“It smelled like plastic burning.

“We went outside and saw teenagers in the kids play area trying to kick the fire with their feet.

“I’m not sure what they lit to cause the explosion as it was very loud.

“It is really sad that they behaved liked this, especially as there’s always little kids who use this little park every day.

“We had a bench there to sit down on and now it’s completely burned down.”

Chelmsford Weekly News: Loud bang: Neighbours reported hearing an explosion before the fire broke outLoud bang: Neighbours reported hearing an explosion before the fire broke out

Essex Fire Service said the fire was deliberately started.

A spokesman said: “One crew from Colchester was called to Speedwell Road, Colchester, at 4.23pm on Friday afternoon.

“On arrival, firefighters reported that part of a children’s park flooring was alight.

“Firefighters extinguished the fire by 4.42pm and recorded the cause as deliberate.”


Mike Lilley, Colchester ward councillor for Old Heath, visited the play park yesterday and confirmed it had been cordoned off by the council.

He said: “It looks like something was placed in a bin, it was on right side where the hole in the ground is.

“The area cordoned off has been torched as the asphalt has melted.

“It really smells of burned tar.”

He added: “The park is well-used by mums with young children.

“When they come out of the Old Heath school they tend to meet and congregate there so the kids can use the play equipment.

“These morons, through their mindless actions, have deprived young children of having somewhere to go.”

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