Fireworks vandalism leaves massive hole in Cedar Hills playground

Posted at 2:27 PM, Jul 03, 2024

CEDAR HILLS, Utah — A local Cedar Hills playground will remain mostly closed for the remainder of the summer after illegally set-off fireworks caused extensive damage to the area.

A massive hole was seen in a photo of the playground at Harvey Park after the city claimed vandals set off fireworks Tuesday evening.

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Photo shows fire burning after fireworks set off at Harvey Park playground in Cedar Hills

Cedar Hills officials said vandalism has become a "troubling trend" in the city, and that they are working with police to ensure residents are safe in public spaces.

“I am extremely upset by the wanton destruction of our much-loved Harvey Park. We take these acts of vandalism and destruction very seriously and will work diligently to restore the playground." said Mayor Densie Andersen.

In Utah, fireworks are restricted to certain areas and only on specific days approved by local fire officials.

"The City of Cedar Hills is committed to restoring Harvey Park as quickly as possible and appreciates the community's understanding and cooperation during this time," a release said.

Laura Neil lives in Pleasant Grove and brings her kids to this park. They arrived Wednesday and were surprised by the closure signs and caution tape.

"We were really, really sad about that.. the playground is one of my kids' favorite places to play out here, they've got so much of it closed off that theres very little to play with out here now.."

Laura McCraken's parents live close to Harvey Park, so when she visits Utah from the east coast, she brings her kids to the park.

"Please don't do this again," said her son, Jack.

Cedar Hills Mayor Denise Anderson was appalled by the extent of the damage.

"We're heading into the peak time of summer, where families want to come and enjoy the splash pad and playground at the same time and that's just not going to happen for the entire summer," she said. "Its going to take a long time to get these components to the playground, even shipped here to be replaced, and then the turf to be replaced."

The City estimates that the damages will cost at least $100,000 to replace the turf and all the cables that were compromised in the fire. Mayor Denise Anderson also told FOX13 that the park has surveillance cameras and police are actively investigating, and are fairly sure of who caused the fire.