Arson attack at children's charty premises in Leicester
A charity running play schemes for children is counting the cost after an arson attack on its premises.
St Andrews Play Association's home in Thirlmere Gardens, near Leicester Royal Infirmary, in the city centre, was targeted at the weekend.
Firefighters were called to the Playbuilding at about 12.30am on Sunday, after neighbours raised the alarm.
On arrival, they dealt with two large blazing wheelie bins, which had been set alight close to the children's play area.
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Play leader Lisa Palmer said: "When we arrived on Monday all that was left of the plastic bins were the wheels and a melted mess which also burnt through the playground surface.
"The wheelie bins will cost us up to £500 each to replace and it is money we can ill afford."
The charity, which is supported by Leicester City Council, runs free play activities and day trips for children aged between six and 13.
Mrs Palmer said: "It's so disappointing that we have been targeted in this way. It's the second times in 12 months and comes just as we are preparing to celebrate our 30th anniversary.
"It was just mindless vandalism."
"Many of the children have been upset by the incident and, ultimately, this is money we would be spending on activities for them that will now have to pay for the damage and replacement of the bins.
"The only blessing is the bins were chained down and away from the main building. Otherwise, it could have been a lot worse."
A fire service spokesman said: "We believe the fire was started deliberately."
Anyone with information can call the police 101 number.