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Imagination Station probe, rebuild move forward

Despite its grainy appearance, it seems surveillance footage from Imagination Station has actually garnered some leads for the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office in its arson investigation.CONTRIBUTED PHOTO: SHELBY VIERNES - Sandy-based Konell Construction volunteered to clean up Imagination Station after the wooden play structure was destroyed in a fire.

The popular Troutdale playground caught fire about 4 a.m. April 9, destroying about one-third of the playground, specifically the wooden play structure.

Two images and video released shortly after news broke depicted two unidentifiable suspects leaving the area. The sheriff’s office acknowledged the images would not likely lead to an arrest, but hoped they would fuel leads.

Detective Ken Yohe said that’s been the case. Yohe added the department is sorting through the tips now, but does not yet have additional information to release.

The Sheriff’s Office is offering a $1,000 reward to anyone who can provide information leading to an arrest and conviction. Anyone with information should contact the sheriff’s office at 503-261-2847.

Donations are also being accepted at Troutdale City Hall to fund the park’s rebuilding. So far, the city has collected nearly $4,000 in donations.CONTRIBUTED PHOTO: SHELBY VIERNES - Volunteer crews spent Saturday, April 16, removing debris from the burned play structure.

Public Works Director Steve Gaschler said the city is trying to figure out how to utilize the donations and offers of help from the community, while also taking advantage of the park’s insurance policy which will pay to rebuild the destroyed structure.

Volunteer crews, for example, can be used. Gaschler said Konell Construction, headquartered in Sandy, offered to help the city remove the debris and clean up the park.

“So we obliged,” Gaschler said. “It’s like it wasn’t even there.”

The remainder of the park is open for visitors, he added, as the city moves forward in the planning process to replace the structure. What it might be, however, is unknown.CONTRIBUTED PHOTO: SHELBY VIERNES - Public Works Director Steve Gaschler said the park is now entirely open, with the remains of the burned structure removed.

“Does the community want exactly the same thing back there?” he said, adding that there are new code requirements that might change the structure’s design. “Does the community want to build something bigger and better there?”

While the insurance process is navigated, Gaschler said it’s going to take a few months to plan and decide how to move forward.

But he said they’re working on it.

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