Arson suspected in Kodiak park fire

Juneau’s not the only Alaska community with a park vandalism problem.

KMXT reports that Kodiak Police believe an arson fire damaged the ice rink cover at Baranof Park early Wednesday morning.

The city’s Parks and Recreation Director Ian Fulp says the blaze charred several fiberglass panels and a large chunk of concrete flooring. But he’s still assessing the extent of all the damage.

“It could be considerable, because the ice skating refrigeration coils are just about three quarters of an inch below the surface,” Fulp says. “And so if that concrete heated up and damaged those coils so that the concrete has to be broken out and coils repaired, that’s going to be very costly.”

Kodiak Police Chief T.C. Kamai says the entire building could have burned if not for a 9-11 call just before 4 a.m. He says police conducted door-to-door interviews in the neighborhood around the park, but at this point have no suspects.

“This was a crime and if it was intentionally set at this point we’re going to need the community’s help to bring the person or persons to justice on this,” says Kamai.

He says investigators believe an accelerant was used, but are waiting for tests to confirm. The Kodiak Fire Department is assisting with the forensic investigation.