Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

Fire Damages Toddler Playground at Pan Pacific Park

The toddler playground (the green and brown structures, now fenced off for safety) that was burned at Pan Pacific Park on July 12. The portion of the play area for older kids – the blue and orange structures in the background – was unharmed and is still open for play.


Back in 2019, we reported on the opening of a new playground at Pan Pacific Park that was part of a larger park renewal project shepherded by then-City Councilmember David Ryu.  The improvement package also included new athletic fields, a rebuilt baseball diamond, and new irrigation.  Sadly, on July 12, the toddler portion of the new playground was heavily damaged by an early morning fire, and much of the 3-year-old play equipment was heavily damaged.

While little official information is available so far about the blaze, there are two short user-generated videos posted on the Citizen app, timestamped at 12:48 a.m., one of which shows the fire in progress.

The origin of the fire has not yet been confirmed, but neighbors posting on in the days after the fire said they’d heard reports that it was started by a homeless person, and a story in the Beverly Press on Thursday quoted an unnamed park employee who said, “We’re going on a pretty secure guess that it was a homeless [individual] that set it on fire.”

City Councilmember Paul Koretz said in a statement provided to the Buzz this morning: “ What a sad situation that this play structure that was part of a park improvement project under Councilmember Ryu only a few years ago was destroyed in such a heartless and totally destructive manner.  This barbaric and heartless act is the worst kind of vandalism  – it hurts the community as well as families throughout Los Angeles who love bringing their children to the Pan Pacific park facility.”

A Koretz spokesperson also said his staff “plans to meet with the Department of Recreation and Parks this coming week to learn more,” so there’s no word yet about potential repairs or replacement of the damaged equipment.

Here are some more photos of the damaged play area:












Finally, just to be clear, the adjacent play equipment (the blue and orange structures a few feet away from the damaged green and brown structures), for slightly older kids, was not damaged in the fire, and is still safe, clean, and open for play.



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Elizabeth Fuller
Elizabeth Fuller
Elizabeth Fuller was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN but has lived in LA since 1991 - with deep roots in both the Sycamore Square and West Adams Heights-Sugar Hill neighborhoods. She spent 10 years with the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council, volunteers at Wilshire Crest Elementary School, and has been writing for the Buzz since 2015.

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