Tuesday, May 30, 2023

‘Classified undetermined’: Fire marshal concludes investigation of Bald Head fires

BALD HEAD ISLAND — Following a two-week investigation of the Bald Head Island fires, which destroyed four structures last month, the fire marshal has concluded the cause “undetermined.”

READ MORE: Catch up on previous coverage of the Bald Head Island fires

A press release from the Village of Bald Head Island noted: “The investigation team has classified this fire as undetermined and that an electrical malfunction could not be ruled out.”

Multiple fires engulfed the area near Old Baldy Lighthouse on Saturday, Nov. 20, destroying three units in Lighthouse Landing and a home and crofter on North Bald Head Wynd. Flames spread to homes, the woods and brush, as well as the golf course at Bald Head Island Club.

No one was injured, as a dozen or more public safety agencies responded to the incident, including fire crews from Bald Head Island, Southport, Sunny Point, Leland, Boiling Springs, Oak Island, Shallotte, Northwest, Winnabow, and St. James Rescue, as well as the Coast Guard and marine patrol.

The 5.8-mile island and resort has 1,120 private residences with 220 year-round residents. Of its 12,000 acres, 10,000 are protected and only 2,000 developed.

The fire marshal’s investigation included examining affected exterior and interior structures at the scene, according to the release. The team also conducted interviews with witnesses, took videos and photographs, and determined the origin of the fire began at 117 N Bald Head Wynd.

The press release noted the “islanders are coming together to raise funds for the Village’s Public Safety Auxiliary (PSA),” a nonprofit organization which helps local emergency departments. The organization supplies food and water on the scene, coordinates meals for first responders, and contributes to equipment acquisitions.

Donations to the PSA can be made by check and mailed to Public Safety Auxiliary PO Box 3255 Bald Head Island, NC 28461 or via Venmo to the PSA Treasurer at @dawn-comer-2.

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Shea Carver
Shea Carver
Shea Carver is the editor in chief at Port City Daily. A UNCW alumna, Shea worked in the print media business in Wilmington for 22 years before joining the PCD team in October 2020. She specializes in arts coverage — music, film, literature, theatre — the dining scene, and can often be tapped on where to go, what to do and who to see in Wilmington. When she isn’t hanging with her pup, Shadow Wolf, tending the garden or spinning vinyl, she’s attending concerts and live theater.

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