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Officials investigating cause of Hanscom Park gazebo fire

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The charred remains are all that's left of the gazebo in Omaha's Hanscom Park after a fire early Monday. The fire is being investigated as arson.

OMAHA — Officials are investigating a fire that destroyed a well-known gazebo in Hanscom Park.

Fire crews were called to the park near 32nd Street and Woolworth Avenue early Monday to tackle the gazebo fire and a small grass fire in another part of the park, said Omaha Fire Battalion Chief Scott Fitzpatrick.

The fire is being investigated as arson.

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gazebo before

The gazebo this spring. Neighborhood leaders are hoping to team with the city's Parks and Recreation Department to rebuild a structure in its place.

The gazebo has featured prominently on materials issued by the Hanscom Park Neighborhood Association, said Grace Thomas, the group's president.

"It's part of the park's identity. It's a recognizable feature and has that historic element," Thomas said.

Neighborhood residents and parkgoers have commented on social media posts, saying the gazebo has been part of many family, wedding and senior portrait sessions.

Recently, Thomas said, neighbors were trying to bring back music in the gazebo on Sunday afternoons. But the gazebo was in some disrepair, with electricity not working and flooring set to be replaced. 

Thomas said neighbors look forward to working with the city's Parks and Recreation Department to rebuild a structure in the gazebo's place. Thomas said they hope to make it more functional.

"We are obviously super frustrated and really saddened that that feature of the park was taken away from us," she said. 

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