Oakland hills firestorm memorial vandalized

September 2, 2012 7:43:49 PM PDT
A memorial for the victims of the 1991 Oakland hills firestorm has been vandalized, and it's not the first time.

Officials say the sculpture was vandalized sometime between Saturday night and early Sunday morning. Someone cut off five of the sculpture's metal bars.

It's unclear what the motive was, but the people who take care of this memorial garden suspect they were taken with the intent to sell.

The memorial is officially called the Oakland Firestorm Memorial Garden, and it is wired for security. There's lighting, a siren, and a video monitoring system.

The committee that maintains the memorial is hoping surveillance video will help them identify the person or people responsible. They're waiting for a call back from the security company that operates the camera. So at this point, they're still waiting to see the video.

The sculpture is a prominent part of the memorial garden. It represents the rebirth of the trees that have grown in the area after the firestorm of 1991, when 3,000 homes were lost and 25 peope died in the Oakland hills.

"I'm a bit angry," said Oakland Landscape Committee Chair Gordon Piper. "This is kind of like dancing on the grave of those that died in the firestorm, and an insult to the community to have this happen three times. It happened two years ago. It's really frustrating."

The Oakland Landscape Committee is hoping to raise $5,000 to not only repair the sculpture, but to also maintain their security system.

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