WESTERLY — Firefighters from the Misquamicut, Watch Hill and Dunn’s Corners departments extinguished a fire at the Misquamicut State beach pavilion Friday afternoon.
The state Department of Environmental Mangement, which operates the beach, said the fire started between 3:30 and 4 p.m., and there were no injuries.
Firefighters arrived shortly after 4. The blaze was contained to the concession stand area of the pavilion and caused heavy damage to that structure. Witnesses said it appeared to have started outside the building, in a trash container that had boxes stacked on top of it. A spokesman for the DEM said the cause was inconclusive, according to the state Fire Marshal.
Clouds of smoke billowed from the wooden structure in the early stages of the fire, and it was out by about 4:40 p.m.
Stretching a half-mile along the oceanfront, Misquamicut is Rhode Island’s biggest state beach and drew more than 340,000 visitors — 77 percent of whom are from out of state — and contributed more than $44 million to the state economy in 2016. The pavilion was redone and opened in 1999.