Fayette County

Fire damages Mary Todd playground

Children who want to use the playground in Lexington's Mary Todd Park will have to wait — a Wednesday night fire heavily damaged the park on 525 Rogers Road.

Jerry Hancock, director of the city's Division of Parks and Recreation, said the city government's insurance will help repair the playground that cost an estimated $100,000.

“We believe that the fire was intentionally set,” Hancock said. “This was a real tragedy.”

Lexington Fire Department officials say the cause of the fire is unknown and is under investigation. The playground equipment intended for older children is currently roped off. The playground map and surrounding trees were also damaged.

“I was really shocked and sad when I heard,” said Susan Pollack of the Injury Free Coalition for Kids of Lexington, which received a grant that helped fund the playground that was built in 2006.

“To destroy a playground that badly takes a lot of fire.”

Pollack said Little Tikes, a playground manufacturer, has already made a commitment to help rebuild the park after the damage is assessed.

“There is a huge commitment from the community to rebuild,” Pollack said. “People have already offered to help volunteer.”