Video: Fire rages through house on Lieutenant’s Island in Wellfleet

– On Sunday at approximately 4:38 p.m., the Wellfleet Fire Department was dispatched to a reported structure fire at 41 9th Street in Wellfleet. The location of this address is at the far end of Lieutenant Island, which is accessible by a single lane road that becomes unpassable during the high tide. The fire was reported by several neighbors who described heavy fire conditions.

First responding fire personnel arrived on scene at approximately 4:48 p.m. and found a fully involved structure fire, with the fire threatening two other nearby residential structures and the surrounding woodlands. In addition, at this time fire crews noted significant wind gusts (later to be determined to be up to 35 MPH) which were fanning the fire to the nearby structures.

Two pre-connected hose lines were deployed from Wellfleet Engine 94, with the immediate assistance of an Eastham Fire Department crew, to extinguish the involved residence and provide exposure protection to the other nearby residences. As this area of Wellfleet does not have hydrant protection, a second alarm was requested with an additional tanker task force, to establish a water supply on scene. A tanker shuttle operation was put in place utilizing a pressurized fire hydrant on Route 6 and Marconi Beach Road.

According to Wellfleet Fire Chief Richard Pauley, Jr., the first two arriving engine companies, with only a total of only five personnel, worked feverishly at keeping the fully involved building, from spreading to the two nearby occupied dwellings. Two occupants of the house had left earlier in the day and were not injured. Unfortunately, three family dogs perished in the fire. One firefighter was transported to Cape Cod Hospital for heat exhaustion and the fire was under control at approximately 5:30 p.m.. Mutual aid was provided by several Cape fire departments including Eastham, Truro, Orleans, Provincetown, Brewster, Chatham and Yarmouth.

At this time the fire is under investigation, but, not considered suspicious. Initial damage estimates are most likely in excess of $350,000.00 between the building and its contents.

Media release furnished by Wellfleet Fire; top photo and video courtesy of Kara Vitale, lower photo by Tim Caldwell/CWN

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