SOME Mount Pleasant residents say their area has become unsafe following an arson attack on a children’s playground on Sunday night.
Police are hunting three people believed to be responsible for the blaze, which destroyed sections of plastic play equipment off Kenworthy Place.
A large slide, interactive spinning balls and other sections of the play equipment were melted almost beyond recognition.
An old television was also found at the scene, melted into the remains of the play equipment.
Neighbours said the same equipment was the subject of vandalism earlier this year, when a chainsaw was used to destroy a slide.
The replacement slide was destroyed by Sunday’s fire.
Detective Senior Constable Alanna McDonald said three hooded people were seen leaving the area shortly after the fire began just before 11pm Sunday.
She urged witnesses or anyone with information about the fire to come forward.
City of Ballarat staff removed damaged sections of a playground around midday yesterday and plan to repair the equipment to its former glory.
Councillor Des Hudson said it would take about two weeks to repair and replace the damaged sections at a cost of $10,000.
A witness told The Courier he saw three teenage males leaving the area after the fire started.
The neighbour said he was walking home via the playground when he saw the offenders loitering in the area.
“I was just walking through and I saw these three blokes laughing ... I thought ‘what are they on about’?” he said.
“Then they saw me and ran off and next minute (the play equipment) caught fire.”
Another neighbour said it was the second attack on the slide this year.
“About six months ago, someone’s come here and chopped the slide off with a chainsaw,” he said.
“They’re just idiots. This is shocking for the kids in the area.”
Another neighbour said he was now concerned for his family’s safety following the attacks.
“What’s next? Maybe they’ll decide to throw a Molotov cocktail onto our house or something,” he said.
A mother who lives nearby said she would not let her daughter on the playground after the fire.
“I hope they don’t repair it,” she said.
“This whole area has gone downhill – it’s not safe around here anymore.”
Anyone with information can call Detective Senior Constable McDonald on 5336 6128.