‘A piece of history that’s now lost’: Hog Island boat house destroyed by fire

East Bay

PORTSMOUTH, R.I. (WPRI) ─ A historic piece of property off the coast of Bristol went up in flames Thursday afternoon.

Courtesy: Sue Sexton

Sue Sexton, who’s been a part-time resident of Hog Island for 64 years, tells 12 News she was cooking dinner when her husband alerted her to a fire.

“We could see through the bushes … large flames,” she said. “So we jumped into our golf carts and went down to see the boat house was on fire, and we both just cried.”

The boat house, which faces Bristol and the Mount Hope Bridge, was hardly visible among the heavy smoke and flames.

Sexton and her husband weren’t the only ones who watched as firefighters from both Portsmouth and Bristol doused the flames with water pumped straight from Narragansett Bay.

“Everyone was just there shaking their heads saying ‘these are all of our childhood memories,'” she said. “This is a beloved place, as is the island, and you all feel like family here, so that loss just hits everybody.”

Sexton tells 12 News the boat house was built in the early 1900s and called it a “beloved place.”

“It’s a piece of history that is now lost,” she said.

It’s unclear what caused the fire or if anyone was inside at the time.

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