October 24, 2016

Arson Suspected in Iron Range Bridge Fire

By KBJR News 1

Arson Suspected in Iron Range Bridge Fire

July 13, 2012 Updated Nov 25, 2013 at 7:11 AM CDT

Pike Township, MN (Northland's NewCenter) --- Authorities are investigating a possible arson that occurred on Thursday, July 12th that collapsed part of a bridge in Pike Township, about 17 miles northeast of Virginia.

According to the St. Louis County Sheriff's Department, firefighters were called to a bridge on fire on West Saari Road around 2:30 pm on Thursday.

Authorities say the fire burned for about four hours before fire fighters doused the flames. A portion of the bridge collapsed due to the fire.

Officers found traces of accelerant at the origin of the fire.

Fire fighters say that the location of the bridge made it difficult to access the water needed to put out the fire.

The cost of the damage is estimated at three quarters of a million dollars. Due to the recent flooding, repairs to the bridge is of low priority since there is very low traffic across it.

At a minimum, the bridge will be closed for a year, however officials are considering permanent closure of the bridge.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation and officials ask anyone with information about this incident to contact local authorities.

Firefighters from Embarrass, Pike Township, Sandy, Britt, Vermillion Lake and the Minnesota DNR all responded to the fire.

Posted to the web by Krista Burns

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