Washington County Historic Bridge Fire Investigated as Suspiciou - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Washington County Historic Bridge Fire Investigated as Suspicious


The Dehogues family of Kalona  had planned on taking pictures at the historic English River Bridge Monday night, before a Sunday fire changed their plans. 

"There's no good reason to do vandalism like that," Lois Dehogues said.

The bridge, which dates back to Kalona's beginnings, had been a gathering spot to celebrate life moments.

Monday the site was home only to investigators and a disheartened group of onlookers after a fire broke out the day before.  

While no official cause has been released, investigators believe Sunday's large fire was no accident.

"This bridge was burned completely from the north to south, and this fire is more extent than just a camp fire," said Steve Yotty, chief of the Kalona Volunteer Fire Department.

The fire may alter the city of Kalona's development plans.

Plans were in the works to renovate the bridge and reopen it as part of a three mile trail between Kalona and Richmond.

It was project  seen as an enhancement to the area.

"To be able to renovate it and rehab it, it was something I think the area could have taken a large amount of pride in," said Ryan Schlabaugh, Kalona city administrator.

Whether the bridge can be salvaged and the project undertaken remains to be see.

For now, it's a connection between the past, present, and future, that may have been lost due to a senseless act.

"It's unbelievable that anybody would do something like that," Dehogues said.

Anybody with any information about Sunday's fire is asked to contact the state fire marshal.

The fire is still under investigation.

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