GREENVILLE, Mich. (WOOD) — For the second time in a little more than two years, fire heavily damaged a historic walking bridge on a popular trail in Greenville, forcing the city to close it again.

Investigators are trying to determine if it was arson.

The fire on the former railroad trestle was reported at about 1:30 a.m. on Thursday.

The wooden bridge takes hikers and bikers on the Fred Meijer Heartland Trail over the Flat River, part of a 120-mile West Michigan trail system.

“It had to be almost an arson because there’s no electricity on it or anything,” said Donald Stearns, chairman of the Friends of Fred Meijer Heartland Trail, the volunteer group that maintains the trail. “This time, I’m afraid that the individual who wanted to burn it completely decided that they’d try it again.”

But Brian Blomstrom, interim Greenville Public Safety Director, said it’s too soon to call it arson.  He called it “questionable.”

Fire investigators have sent in samples to the Michigan State Police to look for evidence of accelerants, he said.

Blomstrom said that after the fire in June 2020, tests found no signs of accelerants.

“That’s not to say that it wasn’t a set fire because people can set fires in other ways,” Blomstrom said.

The cause of that fire is still unknown.

“Those leads that we’ve had have gone stale over time, but it is under investigation and it’s being reviewed, as well as this fire, too, to see if there’s any correlation between them,” he said.

Stearns said it cost $220,000 to fix the bridge after the last fire — covered by insurance. It reopened in June.

He said it’s not clear how long it will stay closed this time, especially since it appears the fire burned deeper.

“It’s just maddening,” he said. “We work hard to keep the trail going.”

The interim chief is troubled by the possibility of arsonists targeting the bridge.

“It’s very bothersome, not just from the fact that it’s a terrible crime to do that to the people of the community. It’s not a person-on-person crime, a crime like this affects the community,” he said. “There’s been a lot of hard work that’s been put into building that trailhead area right downtown there. It’s very bothersome on many levels that a person or individuals if that was the case, would destroy something so beautiful.”

A $1,000 reward is being offered for information on the fire. Anyone with information is asked to call the Greenville Department of Public Safety.