Vandals torch Post Office mailbox in small Oregon town

Vandals torch Post Office mailbox in small Oregon town
The mailbox set ablaze in Gaston is now covered with crime tape. (Photo courtesy of the Gaston Fire District.)

GASTON, Ore. -- Authorities say an arsonist has set fire to the mailbox in front of the post office at Gaston in Washington County.  

Many pieces of outgoing mail deposited over the weekend have been damaged by gasoline and water.  

The Gaston Rural Fire Department says the fire started between 5 a.m. and 6 a.m. Monday, and smoke was coming from the mailbox when firefighters arrived to put it out.  

The department says a gasoline canister with a lit wick was found inside the mailbox. 

The mailbox is the only one in the Gaston postal area. The nearest mailboxes are in Yamhill and Forest Grove.

The fire department says the investigation will be handled by the Washington County sheriff's office and the U.S. Postal Service.

Gaston is located west of Portland on Highway 47.