LONGMONT, Colo. (CBS4)– Police in Longmont arrested two suspects suspected of starting a fire in a stack of railroad ties on Wednesday night. The motive behind their actions remains unknown.

The fire broke out about 8 p.m. Wednesday near 1st Ave. and Martin Street, just east of the City of Longmont waste water treatment plant. It was still burning on Thursday morning.

Firefighters in Longmont battled railroad ties on fire (credit: CBS)

Firefighters in Longmont battled railroad ties on fire (credit: CBS)

Police arrested August Adams, 18, and Robert Fitzpatrick, 22, after a witness identified them as the ones who started the fire.

August Adams and Robert Fitzpatrick (credit: Longmont Police)

August Adams and Robert Fitzpatrick (credit: Longmont Police)

They have been charged with second-degree arson. Detectives are trying to figure out why they may have set the fire.

No structures were in damaged or in danger.

“When it was reported that it’s spreading it’s out of control, people want to make sure their homes are okay being where they are,” said Longmont resident Stephanie Goldstein.

Longmont Police Commander Jeff Satur said air quality in the area was poor from all the heavy smoke in the area because of the toxins and chemicals used in the treatment of railroad ties.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

The fire destroyed the overhead power lines which caused some power outages to the southeastern part of Longmont. About 300 businesses and homes were affected but most had power restored by 10 p.m. All power was restored a couple of hours later.

While fire crews were fighting the fire there were several roads closed primarily Martin Street between 3rd Avenue and Highway 119.

“Just a bunch of cops they’ve been closing off streets down the road. We had to see what was going on. We saw all these flames and smoke shooting up into the air so it’s pretty crazy,” said Longmont resident Lawrence Hernandez.

Both Adams and Fitzpatrick remain in the Boulder County Jail.


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