A FIRE chief has slammed arsonists who torched children’s play equipment - for the second time this month.

A large, basket-type swing was destroyed in the blaze at the popular play area, in Mitella Street, Burnley, at around 9.30am yesterday.

A fire crew from Burnley called to the park found the swing fully alight.

The incident came just weeks after a similar swing, at Rakehead Recreation Ground, in Sharp Street, Burnley, was set alight, causing extensive damage.

Steve Harrison, watch manager at Burnley Fire Station, said: “This is a popular, well-used park. The fire has taken part of the facilities available to local children, and also has a cost implication to the council.

“This was a deliberate fire, and it is hard to fathom what anyone could possibly gain from the wanton destruc-tion of children’s play equipment.”

The night after the fire at Rakehead Rec, which was started on Friday, April 11, wheelie bins were also set alight. Speaking at the time, the acting crew manager branded the arsonists ‘idiots’, and said: “I would urge them to please stop and think about what they are doing. What if a member of their family was involved in a serious fire when we were out dealing with some rubbish?”

A police spokesman said the force was made aware of the fire by the fire service, and an investigation was underway.

The fire service also warned that skips and rubbish left in back yards, and back streets, can lead to deliberate fire setting, and urged for any concerns to be reported to Burnley Council on 01282 425011.

Anybody with information about the fires can call police on 101, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.