Police in Hartford are investigating vandalism that was reported at Hartford's Colt Park Pool on Wednesday morning.
The vandal or vandals couldn't have struck at a worse time as residents across Connecticut struggle to beat the heat in the middle of the fourth heat wave of the year.
"Yesterday we had close to 300 people in the pool who won't be able to come swim the pool today," said lifeguard Brian Gallagher.
According to police, whomever is responsible for the destruction spray painted the letters "T-H-P" representing a well-known gang in the city on doors and across desks.
Hartford police said the person or people responsible jumped the fence around the facility to gain access and somehow got into the chemical room.
Two lifeguard rooms were destroyed when someone let off fire extinguishers inside and dumped out all of the first-aid supplies, according to officials.
There was spray paint around the pool and in the guard room, and someone also dumped chemicals into the pool. According to officials, anyone that would have got into the water would have been severely burned because of the chemical reaction.
The chemical, called soda ash, is a water softener that's used to neutralize the chlorine. To use it, someone would only need one cup of the chemical, and whoever dumped it in the water threw bags of it inside.
The pool is expected to be closed for the rest of the week, however, staff was working hard on Wednesday to clean it up. Their hopes are to reopen the pool Thursday or even Friday.
"We have about 40 kids show up for lesson at 12 p.m. and called and told them not to come," Gallagher said.
Officials estimate the damage to be between $2,000 and $4,000.
This isn't the first time vandals have struck. Staff told Eyewitness News it happened a lot last season.
The pool just opened last month and this is the first break of this summer season. Staff members said they will now take a look at their security plans.
"Frustration, really, I mean it's going to be real hot today and everyone is going to be upset with us," Gallagher said.
The incident remains under investigation. Anyone with information is urged to call Hartford police at 860-757-4000 or the tip line at 860-722-TIPS (8477). All calls will be kept confidential.
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