Reward Offered in Madison Co. Fire
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WINTERSET, Iowa (AP) _ Robert Waller, author of the best-selling novel ``The Bridges of Madison County,″ has offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of the person responsible for burning down one of them.
State fire investigators say arson was the probable cause of Tuesday night’s fire that destroyed Cedar Bridge. Investigators have removed several charred samples that will be tested for accelerants, said Sgt. Robert Hansen, spokesman for the state fire marshal’s office.
``I have lost an old and dear friend with whom I have spent many quiet hours,″ Waller said in a statement released by the Madison County sheriff’s department.
The 119-year-old Cedar Bridge was perhaps the best known of the six covered bridges that have drawn thousands of visitors since Waller’s novel was published in 1992. It’s where the lead characters, farm wife Francesca Johnson and photographer Robert Kincaid, plan a romantic rendezvous.
The 76-foot-long wooden bridge, located over Cedar Creek a few miles northeast of Winterset, was renovated in 1998 at a cost of $128,000.
Waller has pledged financial help to replace the structure.
Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep starred in the 1995 film, directed by Eastwood, that was based on Waller’s book.
On the Net:
Madison County Web site: http://www.madisoncounty.com/