Police are investigating a possible arson that occurred Saturday afternoon when an unknown suspect set fire to a railway trestle belonging to Puget Sound & Pacific Railroad.
A passerby called in the fire around 3 p.m., said Undersheriff Kevin Schrader of the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office.
“Deputies arrived on scene at 1503 hours and discovered that a train trestle that runs parallel to SR 12 was on fire with heavy smoke covering SR 12,” stated a news release from the sheriff’s office. “East Grays Harbor Fire District arrived on scene and were able to extinguish the fire.”
The first firefighters from EGHF&R requested assistance, and units from District 1, District 12 and the McCleary Fire Department responded.
“At approximately 3:52 p.m. the fire had been extinguished and was in mop up,” stated the news release from EGHF&R. “The fire was contained to the tracks and a small 10 by 10 area of brush below the train trestle.”
The trestle, which links the port to the major north-south railways inland of the county, was shut down briefly for repairs, said Tom Ciuba, vice president of communications for Genesee & Wyoming Railroad Services, Inc., which owns PSAP.
“The bridge sustained some damage but, after a few repairs, was operational again within 24 hours of the fire and with minimal impact to customers,” Ciuba said in an email.
The fire is being treated as suspicious and is being investigated as arson, stated the news release from the sheriff’s office. No suspects are currently in custody, according to the news release. There have been fires in the past near the railroad tracks but this is the largest in memory, Schrader said.
“We have had small fires that have been reported on or near the railroad tracks before but nothing this damaging that I can remember,” Schrader said in an email.
The sheriff’s office, with the assistance of the railroad, is continuing to investigate the fire. The sheriff’s office asks anyone with information to contact dispatch at 360-533-8765.