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Fire Hits Historic Bridge in San Diego

June 18, 2004|From a Times Staff Writer

A fire Thursday in San Diego's historic Cabrillo Bridge in Balboa Park forced the closure of the Cabrillo Freeway below, snarling traffic for hours.

The fire erupted inside the hollow support columns of the bridge about 4:30 a.m. Firefighters said they were initially hampered by an inability to reach the flames, which quickly spread to a catwalk under the bridge.

No injuries were reported. A California Department of Transportation spokesman said the bridge of steel and reinforced concrete had no structural damage.

Arson inspectors were unsure how the fire started. Two other blazes were reported in the Balboa Park area within several hours.

Built in 1914 for the Panama-California Exposition, the Roman aqueduct-style span is also known as the Laurel Street Bridge. It connects the western edge of the park with the cluster of museum buildings and theater facilities.

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