Covington residents shocked, saddened by arson at park

By Nick Kenney - bio | email

COVINGTON, TN (WMC-TV) - Mary Gayle Roberts gets emotional every time she thinks about all the memories she's had at Cobb-Parr Park with her son.

"My son had his first birthday party here," Roberts said Wednesday. "He had his sixth party here, and was planning on having his 13th party, which is in May, here.  But it's gone."

Roberts can't believe the playground is no more, after it was destroyed by fire Tuesday night.  

"Look what they've done," she said as she surveyed the damage. "How could somebody do this?"

While the fire has been ruled an arson, state bomb and arson investigators spent the day sifting through the charred rubble trying to determine what may have sparked the blaze.

Roberts and her son have been coming to the playground ever since it opened over five years ago.  The facility was paid for with private donations at a cost of nearly $250,000.  The names of donors, including Roberts' son, are listed on a picket fence in front of the playground.

"My son had one of the planks," she aid. "It's gone. I was going to come up here to see if I can salvage it, 'cause his name is one of those, but it's gone."

Investigators say they have no suspects, however they are hoping that whoever is responsible will be caught.

"Whoever did this has no idea what they've taken away from the kids in Covington," Roberts said.

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