Seeking information about fires that destroyed two National Park Service residential structures at Cape Cod National Seashore

The smoldering remains of a house, all that is left is the scorched chimney and floor.
Burned remains of the Brennan House in Wellfleet, Massachusetts.

National Park Service Photo.

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News Release Date: December 28, 2017

Contact: Leslie Reynolds, Chief Ranger, 508-957-0735

WELLFLEET, Mass. - United States Park Rangers of Cape Cod National Seashore and Special Agents with the National Park Service (NPS) Investigative Services Branch are seeking the public’s help with identifying those responsible for recent fires that destroyed two park residential structures—the Brennan House and the Porter Cottage.

Rangers and Wellfleet Fire Department firefighters responded to the still-smoldering scene on Saturday morning, December 23. All that remained of the Brennan House was its foundation and chimney. Firefighters extinguished a small brush fire apparently caused by the burning structure, and rangers found that the nearby Porter Cottage was also burned to the ground. Both structures were unoccupied, and no one was injured.

An interagency criminal investigation is being conducted by the NPS and the Massachusetts State Police Fire and Explosion Investigation Unit with the aim of identifying those responsible for damaging the NPS property. “All seashore assets, whether they be physical, natural or cultural, are our responsibility. The NPS is charged with resource protection, and we, in partnership with the local community, take that mandate seriously. The seashore is alarmed by this deliberate destruction of NPS resources, and we strongly encourage anyone with information about this criminal act to reach out to investigators,” said Acting Superintendent Shawn P. Mulligan.

If you have information about this incident, please call the statewide Arson Hotline at 800-682-9229, or contact the NPS Investigative Services Branch (contact information below). The Arson Hotline is part of the Arson Watch Reward Program. Up to $5,000 is offered for information leading to the identification, and arrest of those responsible for this crime. You don’t have to tell us who you are, but please tell us what you know:

CALL or TEXT the ISB Tip Line 888-653-0009

ONLINE at and click “Submit a Tip”

EMAIL e-mail us

MESSAGE on Facebook @InvestigativeServicesNPS or Twitter @SpecialAgentNPS

Last updated: January 30, 2018

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99 Marconi Site Road
Wellfleet, MA 02667


(508) 255-3421

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