Arsonist torches Howard Amon Park bathrooms

An arsonist caused serious damage to the Howard Amon Park bathroom this week.

Richland city employees discovered the problem Friday morning when they arrived to clean the facility, which remains open at night.

Someone entered the men’s and women’s bathrooms in the building behind Sterling’s restaurant off George Washington Way and ignited toilet paper holders in the handicap stall, said Jason Janosky, the city’s park ranger.

The fire melted plastic, damaged floors and singed the paint. Hand sanitizer dispensers also were damaged.

“It’s trying to be destructive to be destructive sake,” Janosky said.

The park bathroom will be closed for two weeks while repairs are made, including replacing the floor and repainting.

The bathrooms near the tennis courts will remain open for park users.

The cost of the repairs hasn’t been determined, he said.

Cameron Probert covers breaking news and education for the Tri-City Herald, where he tries to answer readers’ questions about why police officers and firefighters are in your neighborhood. He studied communications at Washington State University.