The Point Aconi lighthouse burned to the ground, according to Cape Breton firefighters, but they don’t know when.
Florence Volunteer Fire Department Chief Bill Capstick said the lighthouse is isolated so no one noticed the fire.
The fire department received a call Sunday afternoon when someone discovered the gutted structure.
Capstick told the CBC he believes the fire occurred in the last few days or since the last precipitation because there is no snow covering the burned remains.
He said the landmark lighthouse is a loss for the community. It could be seen for kilometres out at sea.
There is another modern lighthouse with a beacon that is used as a navigation aid. The Department of Transportation said it will check that beacon to make sure it has not been damaged.
The fire is considered suspicious and the police and fire marshal are investigating.
According to the Nova Scotia Lighthouse Preservation Society, the white, glass-fibre lighthouse was built in 1989.
The light overlooked Spanish Bay at the northern tip of Boularderie Island.