LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Fire destroyed a historic covered bridge in Kentucky late Tuesday night.

The Washington County Sheriff's Office posted stunning pictures of the Mount Zion covered bridge in flames. The fire in Springfield, Kentucky, started at about 11:30 p.m.

The sheriff's department writes, "This bridge was a historical landmark and saddens many in our community over its loss."

"When something like this happens it's just really disheartening because I think there were a lot of memories shared by the whole community at this place," said Alex Cochran, who lives in the area. "Now they're all gone."

Left behind Wednesday were only piles of smoldering wood and stone from the bridge's remains. People familiar with the bridge showed up to see the damage for themselves.

Many called the incident a tragedy.

"It's been an icon here," said Dale Carney, who grew up less than a mile from the historic bridge. "People from all over come and visit, look at it, enjoy the beauty. It's just really sad."

People in the community say they believe it was arson. Kentucky State Police have joined the investigation.

"I can't say for sure, but it appears so," said Washington County Judge-Executive Timothy E. Graves. "I can't imagine what else happened. There's no electric in the bridge, there was no storm last night, I just don't know."

"It was lit from end to end," Carney recalled when seeing the bridge n fire Tuesday. "It just doesn't happen that way. This to me is no accident."

KSP has not returned a request for comment at this time.

The bridge was built in 1871 with a Burr arch truss design, according to the Kentucky Tourism website. It was the longest multi-span covered bridge in Kentucky at 246 feet. It was also on the National Register of Historic Places.

Located in the Mooreseville are of Washington County, community members say the loss leaves a big whole in the town.

"It's a shame because this is something all of us that live here got to experience," Alex Cochran said. "The younger generations will never even know it was here."

Anyone with information about the destruction of the bridge is asked to contact Sheriff Jerry Pinkston at 859-336-5400.

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