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House burn in Camden set to be film finale

By Dwight Collins | May 02, 2016
Photo by: Dwight Collins Camden firefighters stand by a controlled burn May 1 for the filming of "Island Zero," written by author Tess Gerritsen of Camden.

Camden — It was lights, camera, action May 1 as the Camden Fire Department set fire to a house on Thomas Street that will ultimately be in the final scene of a movie.

Nearly 200 people lined the sides of Thomas Street to watch the burning of the house that was being filmed for a movie called "Island Zero."

"It's not every day you get to see something like this happen; I think everyone from the whole neighborhood is here and then some," one onlooker said. "Some may have come from a few streets over even."

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 worked with the home's owner, Ronald Hawkins, for use of the property at 24 Thomas St. for one of the final scenes.

The property became available for the department's use for training between March 26 and the end of April, which allowed for a number of sessions to be developed, which included hose line advances, developing a water supply, pump operations, search, ventilation, firefighter self rescue and both Mayday and live fire scenarios.

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 a press release.

Filmed for part of the final scene "Island Zero," a house on Thomas Street was set on fire by the Camden Fire Department May 1. (Photo by: Dwight Collins)
Flames engulf a house on Thomas Street during the filming of "Island Zero" May 1 in Camden. (Photo by: Dwight Collins)
Flames shoot out a window while the house burns during the filming of "Island Zero" May 1 in Camden. The movie is written by author Tess Gerritsen of Camden. (Photo by: Dwight Collins)
Neighbors watch during a controlled burn during the filming of a movie in Camden May 1. (Photo by: Dwight Collins)
Fire crews keep the spectators at a safe distance during a controlled burn of a house for the making of the movie "Island Zero" May 1 in Camden. (Photo by: Dwight Collins)
A drone used to film the burning of a house for the movie "Island Zero" hovers in the sky May 1, getting raw footage to be used as part of the final scene. (Photo by: Dwight Collins)
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