Friday afternoon fire destroys Southold home

A Friday afternoon fire that destroyed a house on a private road in Southold’s Bayview community moved quickly and left little of the structure remaining, complicating police efforts to determine the cause.

The house was fully engulfed in flames by the time Southold Fire Department volunteers arrived, said Southold Police Captain Martin Flatley. No one was in the house at the time the call came in at about 3:45 p.m. and there were no injuries

With Southold receiving help from the Cutchogue Fire Departments, about 100 volunteers battled the blaze for close to six and a half hours. But with flames visible in windows of both levels of the two-story wooden structure when the first volunteers arrived, the best the FD could do was save the garage, said Southold Fire Department Chief Keith Cummings.

“The home is gone,” the chief said. “It collapsed into the basement.”

The Suffolk County Arson Squad is investigating.

The home, owned by Janine and John Bakanic, was one of several in a family compound. A family member who first saw the flames knew there was a dog inside and let the animal out before calling for help.

The home’s location, about 1,500 feet from the nearest fire hydrant, hampered the volunteers’ response.

“It made it more difficult, but it really didn’t change the outcome,” Chief Cummings said.