Camden Fire Department Chief Chris Farley will ask the Select Board at its Tuesday, April 5 meeting for permission to use a Thomas Street house for a controlled burn, which will be filmed for a scene in a horror movie being shot in the Midcoast.

The movie script for "Island Zero" was written by author Tess Gerritsen of Camden. It is being directed by her son, Josh Gerritsen, and produced by Mariah Klapatch. Josh Gerritsen lives in Lincolnville, and Klapatch grew up in Camden and now lives in Los Angeles.

The filmmakers have been working with the home's owner, Ronald Hawkins, for use of the property at 24 Thomas St. for one of the final scenes.

"After we finish shooting the film we're going to work with the fire department so that they may use the house for practice drills. Once they have gotten good use of the house they will do a practice burn that we will film for use in our movie," Klapatch wrote in a letter to the town.

The fire department can get a significant amount of beneficial training from using the property, Farley said in a memo to the Select Board and Town Manager Patricia Finnigan.

The property will be available for the department to use between March 26 and the end of April, which would allow for a number of training sessions to be developed, Farley said. Those could include: hose line advances, developing a water supply, pump operations, search, ventilation, firefighter self rescue and both Mayday and live fire scenarios.

"The opportunity to utilize an actual building to provide realistic training to our employees is rare and we try to capitalize on these opportunities when they come our way," the chief said.

Recognizing that the property is located in a residential area, Farley said most of the bulk-wood items, appliances, cabinets and furniture will be removed. The furnace and most of the plumbing has already been removed. They will work with a roofing contractor to remove and recycle the asphalt shingles. Farley also said it is likely the homeowner will be removing and reusing the windows in the home.

Most neighbors are aware and supportive of the plan, but the chief said he will work with Klapatch to develop a method to inform people in the neighborhood of the plans.

Set on a small, remote island in Maine, "Island Zero" is about a community that finds itself trapped without power or communication after the ferry to the mainland doesn't show up. As the days slip by, the situation worsens and people start dying in gruesome and mysterious ways. Slowly the core group of residents begin to uncover clues as to who, and in this case what, is the cause of those circumstances, Klapatch wrote in the letter.

Courier Publications Editor Kim Lincoln can be reached at 236-8511 or by email at