York & North Yorkshire

Eight arrested after fire at Valley Gardens play area

Valley Gardens fire, Harrogate
Image caption The blaze destroyed the children's play area at Valley Gardens

Eight teenagers have been arrested over a fire which destroyed a children's play park in North Yorkshire.

Fire crews were called to the Valley Gardens park in Harrogate in the early hours of Saturday.

North Yorkshire Police said one of the teenagers who was arrested remained in custody for questioning, while three were released on bail and four were released with no further action taken.

Police confirmed the fire was being treated as arson.

Police and firefighters were called to the park shortly before 03:00 BST on Saturday following reports of a fire at the play park.

A wooden fortress structure was completely burnt out.

More than £180,000 was spent on new play equipment at the site in 2009.

Det Con Helen Quaife said there had been "a significant reaction" from the local community condemning those responsible for the fire.

"The play park is hugely popular with residents of Harrogate and the surrounding area, and the damage caused by this blaze will no doubt impact widely," she said.

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