A 17-year-old member of the Port Penn Fire Company has been charged with setting fire to two historic marshland structures.
The Delaware State Fire Marshal’s Office has determined that two fires late Monday night in Port Penn were arson, and a member of the Port Penn Fire Company has been charged in the case.
Just before midnight Feb. 25, the Port Penn Fire Company was notified of a fire on the Fort DuPont Nature Trail.
When firefighters arrived, they saw that two historic buildings were on fire, said Chief Deputy State Fire Marshal Robert Fox.
One building, the Cleaver Muskrat Shack, was destroyed. Another building, the Floating Cabin, was also damaged. Firefighters quickly extinguished the blaze.
Fire damage to the buildings is estimated at $20,000.
The historical loss cannot be determined at this time, Fox said. The buildings date back to the 1850s and were the last known structures of their kind.
State fire marshal deputies investigated and determined the fire was started intentionally, Fox said.
With the assistance of the Delaware Natural Resources Police Division of Parks Enforcement, deputy fire marshals were able to arrest and charge a 17-year-old male for intentionally starting the fire.
The teen, who was a member of the Port Penn Fire Company, was charged with second-degree felony arson, second-degree felony attempted arson and felony criminal mischief.
He was arraigned and released on his own recognizance to his parents while awaiting another court appearance.