A fire shut down a bridge in Waynesville overnight Wednesday, Jan. 6, and into Thursday. The bridge is back open for traffic now, but the fire also burned through a transmission line which stopped the flow of information until it was replaced Thursday afternoon, Jan. 7.
Crews responded to the fire underneath the Russ Avenue bridge at about midnight.
Waynesville Fire Chief Joey Webb said when crews responded the fire was very intense and had destroyed an AT&T fiber line, knocking out phone and Internet service to several businesses and all schools in the Haywood County system. “A police officer on patrol noticed a large amount of smoke and flames,” Webb said.
Webb says it was fueled by a lot of debris. "There were mattresses. There was furniture. There’s a kerosene heater. The homeless had obviously been living under there, trying to stay warm,” Webb said.