NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - An iconic piece of playground equipment, along with decades of memories, was torched by vandals early Saturday morning.

"It's just sad because of the little kids; this park's been here for so many years," said Brittney Connor, a frequent visitor.

The Rocket Slide at North Little Rock's Burns Park, which is a favorite playground toy for countless Central Arkansas children, was nearly destroyed early Saturday morning by fire. Now a charred structure and melted plastic remain, along with many fond memories.

For Connor, seeing the slide closed and surrounded by yellow tape brings up feelings of nostalgia and loss.

"I hate it because I've been coming here since I was a little kid, and I took my little kids here, and it's just sad that this happened," she explained.

Connor is not alone. North Little Rock mayor Joe Smith came to Burns Park Sunday to survey the damage for himself.

"I'm extremely disappointed that there are individuals out there that would do something like this to cause some damage and, as you can see, all the children around here today aren't able to play on it," he said.

Smith said the Rocket Slide has been a staple at Burns Park for at least 40 years, and he's already thinking about bringing it back.

"I would assume that it'll be able to be repaired," he added. "I have not had the opportunity to talk to the Parks Commission yet, but I feel certain that we will build it back bigger and better than it is."

The cause of the fire still under investigation.

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