A pedestrian bridge that spans the Millstone River in Bowen Park was closed after a small fire damaged its deck and beam Monday morning. CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin

Foot bridge in Nanaimo park closed after suspicious fire

Police investigating after pages from book used to fuel fire in wooden bridge over Millstone River

A foot bridge in Nanaimo’s Bowen Park is off-limits to pedestrians following a fire that police are investigating.

Capt. Ennis Mond, Nanaimo Fire Rescue’s chief fire prevention officer, said firefighters responded at about 7:40 a.m. Monday to snuff out fire that damaged a small portion of the bridge’s beam and deck.

Whoever started the fire used pages torn out of a paperback novel that were stuffed into gaps in the bridge deck and hand railings and set them alight.

“He ripped pages out of it and … there was punky sections in the hand rails, so he stuffed in there and tried to light it on fire … that smouldered for quite a while,” Mond said.

The bridge, which connects a path over the Millstone River that leads from the park entrance at the corner of Millstone Avenue and Bradley Street, has been closed following the fire.

Mond said the fire was reported by a man who discovered it while walking his dog.

“He ran home and got a fire extinguisher and had it pretty well out by the time crews got there, so they knocked down the hot spots,” Mond said.

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