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Authorities investigate second fire at Poinsett County bridge as arson

by Brianna Kwasnik | January 13, 2021 at 11:10 a.m.
Police lights are shown in this file photo.

Authorities on Tuesday said they were investigating as arson a fire Sunday that burned the remains of a Lepanto bridge damaged in a similar blaze less than five months earlier.

The Lepanto Police Department was contacted Sunday evening regarding a large fire on the Desmond Lake Road bridge, east of Arkansas 140, according to a report by the Poinsett County sheriff’s office.

Responders found that the remnants of the wooden bridge, which was previously burned Aug. 24, had been set on fire again, the report states. Authorities determined the bridge was “too far gone” and allowed it to burn, according to the report.

Authorities said that deputies who went to the bridge on Tuesday found nothing left of the structure apart from its steel beams and burnt support columns.

The bridge had already been shut down due to the August fire, whereafter the bridge was considered a total loss, the report states.

According to the earlier report by the sheriff’s office, that fire was set almost directly in the middle of the bridge and covered about six feet of area before burning out. At that time, deputies shut down the bridge and made it inaccessible from either direction, the report states.

Authorities said the case, which is being investigated as arson, is ongoing. No arrests had been made, authorities said Tuesday.

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