Following further investigation, York Area Regional Police say the fire that destroyed a York Township pavilion in Snyder Park was an act of arson, not a lightning strike.

Police were called to the scene of the fire at 2:19 a.m. June 26.

Lightning was originally thought to be a possible cause, police said, but weather data about the storms in the area that night didn't match with the timing of the fire, according to a release from the department.

On an unrelated investigation of a suspicious vehicle and drug arrest July 9, police discovered information that suggested juveniles set the fire in the park. Following other interviews, police said one juvenile was charged with arson, criminal mischief, institutional vandalism and criminal trespass.

According to police two other juveniles were present the night of the fire but were not charged.

Ruined pavilion: The fire ruined the park's only pavilion area, and some programming will be relocated for the summer, said Debra Hatley, the township's recreation director.

"The damage is pretty extensive," Hatley said in a June interview. "The pavilion is completely destroyed."

A cinder block area used to keep supplies for a children's Summer Playground Program remained intact, but the supplies were destroyed because of water damage following the fire, Hatley said.

The park, one of eight recreational areas in the township, includes a new playground that was not affected by the lightning strike, Hatley said.


It also includes a basketball court and is the home of one of the summer playground programs in the township. Those campers have been relocated to Dallastown Park for the remainder of the summer, Hatley said.

— Reach Nikelle Snader at