New Brunswick

Fire that destroyed lighthouse near Confederation Bridge deemed suspicious

A lighthouse "welcoming party" at the Cape Tormentine Beach Campground won't be the same after the historic structure burned down in a suspected case of arson.

'Lighthouse welcoming party' planned for Saturday will continue as planned

RCMP suspect arson in the destruction of the Indian Point Front Range Lighthouse near the Confederation Bridge. (Roger Cosman/CBC)

A lighthouse "welcoming party" at the Cape Tormentine Beach Campground won't be the same after the historic structure burned down in a suspected case of arson.

In release on Friday, RCMP said an investigation "deemed the fire to be suspicious in nature, and police continue to investigate the cause."

Campground manager Angela Grant said the Indian Point Front Range Lighthouse was going to be moved from its spot on the Northumberland Strait near Confederation Bridge to the campground on Saturday. 

The campground was planning to move the lighthouse by horse and wagon and install it at the entrance on a prepared concrete base. But the fire Thursday put a stop to that dream.

'Severe' damage

"It's beyond repair," Grant said. "It's just like we had a death in the family. Like, we just can't believe it. This is just terrible. It's exhausting, really."

Grant said the damage is "severe," and the cause is under investigation.

The Indian Point Front Range Lighthouse was restored and ready to be moved to the entrance of a campground when it caught on fire two days before its 'welcoming party.' (Cape Tormentine, NB - Beacon Of The East/Facebook)

She said the age of the lighthouse is a topic of debate. Some say it was built in 1955, but others say it was built as early as 1902.

The project was meant to also save the lighthouse, as it has been falling over the bank, and the campground had plans to restore it. Grant said it was federally owned and the campground got permission from the federal government to move it and take care of it.

Party still on

The fire has not stopped the party, however, and it's still happening on Saturday.

"We were going to have a beautiful celebration and it's been taken away from us," Grant said. "But you know what? We've been through hard times before, and we've made it through, and we'll make it through this."

The Indian Point Front Range Lighthouse was going to be moved to the Cape Tormentine Beach Campground on Saturday. (Roger Cosman/CBC)

Grant said the lighthouse has weathered many storms and so will she and the rest of the community.

"It symbolizes the hope and that we can keep going forward," she said.

Anyone with information about the fire or who may have witnessed suspicious activity in the area the morning of June 9 is asked to contact the Sackville RCMP or Crime Stoppers, the release said. 

With files from Karin Reid-LeBlanc

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