Arson Suspected in $750,000 Northeast Minnesota Bridge Fire

July 16, 2012

Authorities in northeastern Minnesota suspect arson in the destruction of an old wooden bridge that used to span the Pike River.

A Mesabi Daily News report says the fire Thursday afternoon caused an estimated $750,000 in damage.

The bridge was in Pike Township, about 15 miles northeast of the city of Virginia. It was on a road that has little traffic, but Embarrass Fire Chief Joe Scherer says its absence could increase the response time for emergency vehicles.

County Commissioner Mike Forsman says he doesn’t think the county has insurance for the bridge. He says authorities won’t replace it if it has to be paid for by property taxes.

Forsman says rains and floods in the past month also wiped out four other bridges, so officials are prioritizing repairs.

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