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Now a crime scene

The James Street Swing Bridge, which caught fire Tuesday evening, is now being treated as a crime scene. Thunder Bay Fire Rescue responded to the blaze shortly after 7 p.m., and the bridge has been closed since that time.
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FILE -- Firefighters continue their work at the James Street swing bridge after bringing a blaze under control Tuesday night. (Matt Vis, tbnewswatch.com)

The James Street Swing Bridge, which caught fire Tuesday evening, is now being treated as a crime scene.

Thunder Bay Fire Rescue responded to the blaze shortly after 7 p.m., and the bridge has been closed since that time.

On Tuesday Lindsay Fedchyshyn, CN Rail’s regional manager of public and government affairs, confirmed to CKPR Radio authorities were treating the burned bridge as a crime scene.

“Therefore CN will reserve comment,” she said, adding, “CN does not have access to the bridge at this time as it is under the control of the fire marshal.”

The bridge will be released back to CN Rail once the Ontario Fire Marshal's office has completed its investigation. An investigator has yet to arrive in the city, but Thunder Bay Fire Rescue chief John Hay said one is en route and expected to arrive Wednesday evening.

"I'm not sure what the exact time will be, but I'm sure they will make a visit to the scene as soon as he arrives in town," Hay said. "He'll probably finish the investigation (Thursday)."

At present he city is without its own investigator with Ontario Fire Marshal's office. Hay said a local investigator retired recently and the position has yet to be filled. He added that the Ontario Fire Marshal still does intend to fill that vacancy sometime in the future.

"We would have been farther along had the investigator been in the region," Hay said.

Meanwhile, the Thunder Bay Police Service has issued a reminder to the public that the bridge remains closed both to vehicle and pedestrian traffic. 

City police officers are providing scene security during the investigation, and will not be allowing anyone on the bridge in an effort to protect the crime scene. 

No injuries were reported as a result of this fire.