PRATTS, Miss. (WTVA) - The Lee County Sheriff's Department and the State Fire Marshal are investigating a bridge fire near Baldwyn.
"It is one of the solid wooden bridges that we have it is the longest wooden bridge," said Lee County Sheriff Jim Johnson.
The sheriff says his department, along with the Pratts-Friendship and Baldwyn fire departments, got a call around 9:00 Tuesday morning to check out the old bridge which he says is still in use and stands as a landmark in the community.
When they arrived, they found gaping holes burned through the structure with evidence of some kind of accelerant to start the fire.
"It wouldn't take a whole lot for it to burn. but we did find what we believe to be some accelerant. We've sent it to the crime lab to see exactly to see what is contained in the accelerant that we found," Sheriff Johnson replied.
The sheriff says there is no doubt this was the work of an arsonist. "Because there's no reason for the bridge to catch on fire. There's no electricity, there's no lightning," he continued.
Sheriff Johnson also says evidence shows the fire may have been set from underneath. Lee County Road Manager Tim Allred is baffled by the burning.
He says it will be some time before they can figure out what it will take to make the old bridge passable again.
"The state aid bridge structure division is looking at the bridge to see how bad it is, if it can be repaired and how much it will cost," he said.
The sheriff is urging anyone with information about who might have set fire to the bridge to contact his office.