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Chimney fire damages East Marion home

A family of three and their dog, along with a visiting friend who also had a dog, escaped injury Saturday night when a chimney fire in East Marion grew worse as they awaited firefighters.

The occupants of the house at 2905 Rocky Point Road were watching television when a neighbor alerted them to the chimney fire, shortly after 8 p.m. They called 911 and grabbed their dog and what belongings they could before fleeing into the street.

Maggie Meade, her husband Allon Tatarka and their daughter, Stella, 11, left the house with a visiting friend and her dog. Ms. Meade said it took about 15 minutes before the first firefighters arrived on the scene. What started as a small chimney fire caused damage to an upstairs bedroom. The rest of the house sustained smoke and water damage.

East Marion firefighters had backup from, Orient, Greenport and Southold firefighters. One of the firefighters said they had to run lines from about a block away to get water to fight the blaze.

Ms. Mead and Mr. Tatarka purchased the house about five years ago and used it primarily on weekends during the school year. Ms. Meade said they would stay with friends in Greenport Saturday night.

Firefighters on scene Saturday night. (Credit: Julie Lane)

They were watching television at the time they were alerted to the fire — looking for a movie on which they could all agree.

“I’m so thankful for the volunteers,” she said about the firefighters.

She also noted one of the responding firefighters is her insurance broker with whom the family will be filing their claim.

Waiting outside for the house to be cleared of smoke, she said, “Thank God we weren’t sleeping.”