Kitchen fire at Cutchogue vineyard doesn’t stop wedding party

TIM KELLY PHOTO | Firefighters at the scene of Saturday night's fire at Pellegrini Vineyards.

As fires go, the blaze that roared up behind a gas stove during a wedding reception at Pellegrini Vineyards in Cutchogue Saturday night was quick and relatively simple to extinguish. Firefighters got the call at 8:16 p.m. and by 8:40 they were done.

Still, Cutchogue Chief David Fohrkolb can’t help but think that only slight change in circumstances could have spelled disaster.

As the volunteers were packing up just before 10:30 p.m., the chief was left to ponder a series of what-ifs.

What if the fire had reached beyond the kitchen wall and up into the building’s cathedral ceilings?

What if the firetrucks found it difficult to get through all the vehicles belonging to the 300 or so guests?

The chief would just as soon not consider the potential answers.

“It was a scary situation when we first arrived,” Mr. Fohrkolb said. “But when get that first truck there you know you’ll be able to attack it.”

While the firefighters were at work, the wedding reception simply moved to an outside area.

Given the number of people present, the Cutchogue volunteers received assistance from the Mattituck, Southold and Greenport departments. The cause of the blaze is still under investigation.

“The outcome could have been quite different,” the chief added. “This could have turned tragic.”