Officials keeping eye on Papillion parks after several fires

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PAPILLION, Neb. (WOWT) -- Leaders are calling it more than "everyday vandalism."

It's a disturbing trend in city parks: An alarming number of fires are being started inside bathroom shelters throughout Papillion.

6 News spoke to Trenton Albers with the City of Papillion.

"It looked like someone set fire to one of the toilet paper dispensers, mainly causing smoke damage, not huge significant damage but it has become a trend," Albers said.

It's a trend that is more than annoying, it can be dangerous. Albers says investigators have little to go on except that it typically happens during the summer months when there was no school.

"There have been two similar instances in Papio bay ball field, and a couple of trash can fires in Halleck Park," said Albers.

Albers says while city officials usually don't worry over everyday vandalism -- the fire are different, the potential danger there extends beyond some burned toilet paper.

Take Friday for example. If the building would've become fully engulfed, the wind could have taken flames could have spread quickly to nearby trees or homes.

"Vandalism is certainly frustrating in the parks, but this is dangerous. You can certainly hurt someone doing something like this," said Albers.

Albers says the fires became so frequent at Halleck Park that the city put up security cameras, and it's helped.

"And we haven't had an incident since. We are certainly monitoring this issue," said Albers.