Local News

Police investigate string of fires at Durham park

Posted February 4, 2012 6:06 p.m. EST
Updated February 4, 2012 7:23 p.m. EST

— Durham police are investigating whether two fires at Piney Wood Park Friday night are connected to a string of arsons there two months ago.

A stretch of woods about 40 feet by 50 feet was burned in the blaze, just hours after a bulletin board in the park was set on fire Friday evening.

Police said they believe the bulletin board fire may have been set by juveniles, but it wasn't clear whether that fire caused the woods fire.

Investigators also have not commented on any link between Friday's fires and three arsons at the park in December.

On Dec. 3, a Lincoln Town Car was heavily damaged in an intentionally set fire, police said. On Dec. 25, a 2003 Lexus was destroyed in a fire at the park. Four days later, someone set the park's maintenance storage room on fire in the middle of the night and also painted graffiti on a bathroom wall.

No one has been injured in the fires, but park visitor Dave Kukor said the fires do raise concerns about safety.

"You've got children that play here. You've got people with dogs," he said. "Who knows? If flames jump over the road, and you've got homes, before you know it, boom."

Twice a day, Kukor takes his English Springer Spaniel to the park, at 400 East Woodcroft Parkway.

While he's there, he said, he looks for any signs of arson.

"What I do find myself doing is consciously looking around to see any evidence or something else that I might be able to report to help the police catch these clowns," he said.

Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for information in the December arsons. Anyone with information can call Crime Stoppers at 919-683-1200 or the Durham Police Department at 919-560-4415, extension 29311.