A Norwegian couple going for a leisurely walk on Cathcart Beach acted heroically late Saturday morning after two unidentified individuals attempted to shoot off a firework. These individuals failed, however, and the firework went sideways into the dunes, causing a brush fire.
But the Norwegian couple quickly responded by tossing sand on the flames while the two individuals responsible for the fire ran away.
According to Nantucket Fire Department Deputy Chief Sean Mitchell, firefighters responded to Cathcart Beach late Saturday morning around 11:45 a.m. for brush fire, but it was nearly extinguished by the time NFD units arrived thanks to the actions of the two visitors from Norway, who are on the island for a wedding.
Mitchell said the Norwegian couple was walking on the beach as they observed two individuals attempting to set off a firework, however the firework went sideways and exploded in the dune, causing it to become engulfed in flames.
Mitchell said the couple responded swiftly and began to throw sand on the fire, nearly putting it out in its entirety before it could grow in size. The NFD did respond with an engine and stayed on scene to douse the spot as a precaution.
The individuals who set off the firework ran away once the fire began, but Mitchell believes they were the ones to call 911 and public safety officials are actively working to identify them.
Cathcart Beach is a very difficult area for NFD to access, so Mitchell said the actions of this couple likely prevented this fire from becoming a significant one.
Photography by David Creed