The tower at the Fire Island Lighthouse, shown on December...

The tower at the Fire Island Lighthouse, shown on December 2021, is closed until further notice. Credit: Barry Sloan

The tower at Fire Island Lighthouse has been closed until further notice for safety reasons after it was damaged, according to an official with the Fire Island Lighthouse Preservation Society.

Tony Femminella, executive director of the Fire Island Lighthouse Preservation Society, acknowledged “severe” winds Friday night but said he’s not sure what caused damage to the building. The structure is sound, he said.

“We’re assessing the situation,” Femminella said. “The National Park Service was down there with me today. We cordoned off the area for safety reasons.”

The preservation society announced the closure on its website and in a Facebook post on Saturday. The museum, which is usually open daily, also was closed Saturday, along with the rest of the lighthouse grounds and buildings, according to the preservation society website. The Lens Building, museum and gift shop will reopen Sunday.

The National Park Service also announced on its website Saturday’s closure of the complex, and the tower’s indefinite shutdown to visitors.

Femminella said he’d have more information later in the week.

The National Park Service could not be reached for comment on Saturday night.

According to the National Park Service website, "the Fire Island Lighthouse is operated by the Fire Island Lighthouse Preservation society under a cooperative agreement with the National Park Service. The light, still owned by the United States Coast Guard, is now maintained and operated by the Society as a private aid to navigation."

Completed in 1858 near the site of its 1826 predecessor, the light from the current 168-foot Fire Island Lighthouse can be seen more than 20 miles away. 

The lighthouse is usually open daily year-round and is accessible by car, according to the park service website. Tower tours depend on volunteer availability.

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