Police say 3 kids burned historic bridge in Blackduck; prosecutors mull charges


Police investigators say three juveniles are responsible for the fire that burned a historic bridge in Blackduck last month, the Bemidji Pioneer reports.

Blackduck Police Chief John Wilkinson tells the Pioneer authorities have interviewed the suspects, who said they did not mean to burn the bridge itself.

Police did not arrest the juveniles and have turned the case over to the Beltrami County Attorney's office for prosecutors to decide whether charges will be filed, the Star Tribune says.

The 113-year-old trestle bridge is on National Register of Historic Places and is said to be the oldest bridge of its type in Minnesota.

Officially known as the "Minnesota and International Railway Trestle at Blackduck," the bridge was part of the original 20th Century rail connection between Bemidji and Koochiching, Minnesota (which later became International Falls).

Now it's part of the Blue Ox Trail and is popular with hikers and riders of all-terrain vehicles.

Or it was, at least. The fire on April 13 burned about 200 feet of the 701-foot span. On the day of the blaze authorities said they believed the fire was the result of arson.

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