October 24, 2014

Rail company charged for 2008 Arenac County fire

Posted

ARENAC COUNTY — Attorney General Michael Cox has filed charges against Lake State Railway Inc. for allegedly causing fires in Grayling and Arenac County in April 2008.

Lake State Railway Inc. faces two felony charges of setting fire to forest land and two misdemeanor charges of operating an engine without spark arresters.

The Arenac County fire occurred April 30, 2008. The Arenac County Independent previously reported a fire in Sterling, between the railroad tracks and M-76, that occurred on that date.

The Lake State Railway train allegedly threw embers from its engine because it did not have the proper safety features called spark arrestors.

If the company is proven guilty, it will pay fines and restitution for property damage and response costs. According to a press release from Cox, the Grayling and Arenac County fires resulted in about $464,000 in timber damage, $370,000 in personal property damage and $100,000 in costs to suppress the fire.

The company will be arraigned in both the 87th District Court for the Grayling fire and the 81st District Court for the Arenac County fire. The arraignment in the 81st District Court is set for March 22 at 1:30 p.m.

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