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Fire damages children's playground at Vancouver park

The playground equipment will be removed after it was deemed to be unsafe after the fire, city officials said.

VANCOUVER, Wash. — The children's playground equipment at Esther Short Park in Vancouver will be removed after the playground was damaged by a fire, city officials said. The Vancouver Fire Marshal's Office is investigating the cause of the fire.

In a press release, the Vancouver Parks department said the equipment was examined after the fire and determined to be unsafe. A fence was put up around the closed playground area to protect park visitors until the equipment is removed.

Phyllis Goss, who has lived in the neighborhood for years, said she used to bring her children down to the park when they were little, years before the playground was put up by the city.

"The city, over the years, has made it a really nice park," she said Wednesday. "It's just too bad that people would do something like that to it."

Another neighbor, Noelle Friesen, was walking her pug, Eleanor, past the playground on Wednesday. She said she's taken her nephews to the park many times.

"Sad to see that happen," Friesen said, adding that she didn't know the playground had burned. She thought the fence had been put up around the playground for renovations.

Goss said one silver lining is that the fire happened in the winter and not the spring, when the children are more likely to frequent the playground.

"Hopefully they'll get it fixed before then," she said.

According to the Vancouver Parks department, Esther Short Park, located at West 8th Street and Columbia Street, was already scheduled to received a new playground later this year. The agency said it will determine if that timeline can be moved up to replace the playground earlier in the year.

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