2 adults arrested in Longmont fire that is affecting air quality in area

August Adams and Ryan Fitzpatrick arrested

LONGMONT, Colo. - Two men have been arrested in connection with a fire that continued to burn Thursday morning, affecting the air quality in the area near First Avenue and Martin Street.

"I saw two (people) running out from behind the railroad ties and I seen a fire," said Alve Thompson Wednesday night.

Thompson camps near the railroad ties and called 911 when he saw the two people running from the fire. They were later identified as August Adams and Ryan Fitzpatrick.

"We identified them as being involved in starting the fire," said Longmont Police Sgt. Bruce Wittich.

7NEWS viewers in the area reported seeing large flames and smoke from the fire scene that flared up at around 7:30 p.m. The fire was still burning 11 hours later.

At the peak, seven fire trucks and 25 firefighters from Longmont Fire and Mountain View Fire were on the scene. Most left overnight, but new crews arrived after dawn as the railroad ties continued to burn.

No structures are in danger, but air-quality in the area is poor due to the toxins and chemicals used in the treatment of railroad ties.

"With all the creosote in the railroad ties, causes it to burn quite extensively and very flammable," said Wittich.

7NEWS asked why there would be a pile of railroad ties accessible to the public.

"It's on their right of way, so they store them there as they're doing their repairs. I imagine from the flood they've been doing a lot of repairs lately," said Wittich.

The fire has caused some power outages in the area, after electrical lines were burned through. About 300 customers were affected.

There were also several road closures, primarily Martin Street between 3rd Avenue and Highway 119. Motorists were advised to avoid the area and use alternate routes. 

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