Pinebrook Park pavilion torched by discarded fireworks

- A massive fire broke out Monday night at the playground at Pinebrook Park in Pinellas Park.  

One of the pavilions was burned to the ground and parts of the playground equipment melted like butter.

“Kids come to this park all the time and play and make memories...it’s sad,” said neighbor and lifelong Pinebrook Park resident Stephanie Niegocki. “When I found out about this yesterday I’m getting a little emotional thinking about it... The lack of responsibility when it comes to use of fireworks is just mind-boggling, to be honest."

Investigators are pointing to still-smoldering fireworks tossed in a trash can as the likely cause of the fire.

“If you don’t dispose of them properly, ever after [being used], fireworks or sparklers still remain pretty hot. The estimate on them is anywhere from 1200 degrees on up,” said Pinellas Park Fire Marshall Gary Berkheimer.

Investigators say the group of people who set off the fireworks ran off when the Pavilion started burning. The damage is estimated to be between $130,000 and $150,000. 

The plan is to rebuild the playground and pavilion, but no timetable has been set. 

Police say no charges are expected.

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