ARSON SUSPECTED: Detectives are investigating after a historic boat shed was destroyed by fire in the early hours of yesterday morning. Photo Contributed
ARSON SUSPECTED: Detectives are investigating after a historic boat shed was destroyed by fire in the early hours of yesterday morning. Photo Contributed Contributed

Historic shed destroyed by fire at Burnett Heads

ARSON is suspected after a piece of Burnett Heads' rich history burnt to the ground.

Fire crews were unable to save the historic boat shed after it caught fire about 1.20am this morning.

A Bundaberg police spokeswoman confirmed detectives from the Bundaberg Criminal Investigation Branch had examined the scene and believed the fire was deliberately lit.

The empty shed, located on a maintenance vehicle track at the end of Kelly St, towards the Burnett Heads lighthouse, dated back to 1870 and a number of residents had been fighting to save the sheds for future generations.

Member for Burnett Stephen Bennett said after working with the Burnett Heads community for a number of years to preserve the historic boat sheds, he was bitterly saddened to learn that one of the historic sheds had been completely destroyed.

"Local resident Marj Kidd has led the charge to help save a piece of Burnett Heads history for future generations to appreciate, and this is understandably gut-wrenching to Marj and the entire community who have campaigned tirelessly for the important cause," he said.

"The original Pilot Station boat and kerosene storage sheds date back to circa 1870.

"They had been left derelict and destined for demolition under the orders Maritime Safety Queensland.

"The sheds, flagstaff and historic lighthouse played an important role together on the Pilot Station Lighthouse Reserve with the navigation of shipping into the Burnett River and along the Queensland coast since 1871.

"It's therefore an important part of the history of Burnett Heads and that history should be protected.

"That's why I initially sought an immediate halt on demolition plans, which enabled the community to work towards relocating and preserving these sheds down the track.

"Sadly, today we woke to find that opportunity has been cruelly taken away from the community."

A Queensland Fire and Emergency Services spokesman confirmed the Burnett Heads Rural Fire Brigade responded to the blaze, but the structure was unable to be saved.

Anyone with information which may assist police can call Policelink on 131 444 or Crime Stoppers anonymously on 1800 333 000.



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