Nacogdoches residents react to Maroney Park playground fire

Published: Oct. 2, 2023 at 6:30 AM CDT|Updated: Oct. 2, 2023 at 6:31 AM CDT
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NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) -It’s been nearly three days since a popular East Texas playground was set on fire and so far no arrests have been made.

Nacogdoches Fire and Rescue responded to the call Friday morning at 2 a.m. at Maroney Park.

“You can see it’s all melted,” said Nacogdoches Parks Advocacy League president Michelle Cox.

She said she was in complete shock when she found out about the fire at playground. “Like it smells like a campfire. I can still smell the wood burning it can still feel some warmth from it,” said Cox.

Many visitors called it ‘castle park’ over the years she said. “It really brought the community together when it was being built.”

The playground opened in the mid 90′s and was built piece by piece by the community said Cox.

Today, that is no longer a possibility because city liability limitations require professional installers for any improvements she said. “I think that’s where there’s a lot of nostalgia for this park. There’s a lot of sentimental and deep affection for it.”

Cox said during the construction of the park, people who donated were able to have family names carved into the fence planks. Now, those are charred by fire.

“It’s sad to see that this this is a lingering kind of sorrow that everyone’s gonna see as they come and witness the destruction.” she said.

Sunday was the first time Nacogdoches 10-year-olds Wallace Larson and Andrew Hancock saw the damage at their favorite park.

“I liked playing on that part, so did my sister so it was a little sad,” said Larson.

“I was also sad and I said like, how did it burn down, like why?” expressed Hancock.

Cox said they are discussing action plans to rebuild the park but reminds park visitors it can take some time.

“The process can be different, can be more complicated, but it can be a year before you see something new,” she said.

Anyone with any information regarding the fire that happened Friday is being asked to call Crime Stoppers at 936 -560-info.