Investigators complete review of Coast Guard Station Menemsha boathouse fire

MENEMSHA, Mass, - The boat house at Coast Guard Station Menemsha burns July 12, 2010 in Menemsha, Mass. Crews from the Coast Guard and local responders worked through out the afternoon and into the night to extinguish the fire. Photo by U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.

Station Menemsha boat house burns July 12, 2010. Photo by U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.

BOSTON – A joint team of investigators has concluded its review of the July 12, 2010 fire that burned down a Coast Guard boathouse, a public pier, and several privately owned boats in Chilmark, Mass.

Investigators briefed Captain Verne Gifford, commander of Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England, on their findings Wednesday.

The investigation was conducted jointly by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Massachusetts State Fire Marshal, and the Coast Guard Investigative Service with assistance from the Chilmark Police and Chilmark Fire Department.

The investigation was requested by Captain Gifford to examine the site for evidence of criminal activity and to identify the point of origin of the fire. The team conducted more than 70 interviews, performed forensic analysis of wiring samples and burn patterns, and reviewed weather data.

After reviewing all evidence, investigators concluded that the evidence did not point to any criminal activity. The report states that the fire did not start inside the boathouse at Coast Guard Station Menemsha. It may have been the result of a discarded cigarette on the pier, faulty electrical wiring to the boathouse, or faulty electrical wiring to the town’s pier. They found insufficient evidence to determine a more precise ignition source.

To view the investigation, click here.

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