Mainland fire crews work to reach fire at Whitehead Island light

By Stephen Betts | Oct 17, 2017
Photo by: Gigi Lirot This is the building destroyed by fire Tuesday night, Oct. 17.

Whitehead Island — Crews from multiple mainland fire departments were battling Tuesday night a fire that was roaring on Whitehead Island where a lighthouse, keeper's house and other buildings are located.

The fire was reported shortly after 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 17. The initial report was that it was the lighthouse but a later report from the crews was that it was an out building on the property.

Whitehead Island Manager Gigi Lirot said by email late Tuesday night that a small support building had  burned down. Fire crews at the scene were reporting that the fire had spread into the woods but was nearly extinguished.

The lighthouse and buildings are located on Whitehead Island which is located a few miles south of Spruce Head Island. Fire crews from South Thomaston and St. George gathered at Spruce Head Fishermen's Cooperative wharf with portable equipment for use on the island. Assistance from Thomaston was also being sought for its forestry fire equipment and crews.

The light station was automated in 1982, according to the Whitehead Light Station web site.

Pine Island Camp, a nonprofit with a 40-year history of stewardship on Whitehead Island, applied for and was granted ownership of the Light Station from the U.S. Coast Guard in 1997, according to the web site.

Pine Island Camp renovated the keeper's house and other light stations structures which are now available to rent. The owners also offer programs about the life of a light keeper. The organization purchased property on the mainland at Emery's Wharf to serve as a parking area and debarkation point for programs at the light station.

Lirot said more information would be available Wednesday morning. Lirot said no one had been on the island since the previous night. Lirot said enrichment programs for adults on a variety of topics are offered.

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