City of Arcata




On September 3rd, 2011 Chevret-Vaissade Park playground was completely destroyed by fire. At the time of the incident there was very little information available as to the cause of the fire. Through a lengthy investigation by the Arcata Police Department, three juvenile suspects have been identified. Two of the juvenile suspects, a 12 year old from Arcata and a 13 year old from Pittsburgh Ca., have been arrested. The third juvenile suspect, a 14 year old from Fortuna, has been identified but is still outstanding.

Through the investigation detectives learned the three juveniles allegedly used cardboard, small branches and a piece of wood to ignite a fire on the playground structure. Once ignited, the juveniles rolled the burning piece of wood next to a vertical piece of the play structure which also ignited.

The community support in re-establishing the playground as well as apprehending the responsible parties has been tremendous. Investigators received numerous leads from community members throughout this investigation. Ultimately it was a tip provided by a community member that led detectives to the responsible parties. The Arcata Police Department would like to thank the community for their willingness to assist in this investigation.  

At this time there is nothing to connect these juveniles to any other suspicious fire in the City of Arcata.

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For additional information, please contact: Chief Chapman
Or the On-Duty Watch Commander
Arcata Police Department
(707) 822-2428
Case #11-2294