09/17/13 11:39am
09/17/2013 11:39 AM
CREDIT CUTCHOGUE FIRE DEPARTMENT | A car fire on Monday afternoon shut down Route 48.

CREDIT CUTCHOGUE FIRE DEPARTMENT | A car fire on Monday afternoon shut down Route 48.

A car fire yesterday afternoon partially engulfed a Volkswagon in flames, though no injuries were reported in the incident.

According to Cutchogue Fire Department First Assistant Chief Bill Brewer, the driver of the car was heading eastbound on Route 48 near Cox Lane with a passenger in tow when smoke started billowing from under the hood of the car. After the driver pulled over and both people exited safely, Cutchogue F.D. was called to the scene around 2:30, with three trucks coming to aid.

Fire, Cutchogue  and Southold Town Police were on scene for about a half hour, and traffic was detoured while fire crews led by Chief Antone Berkoski put out the fire.

CREDIT CUTCHOGUE FIRE DEPARTMENT | A car fire on Monday afternoon shut down Route 48.

CREDIT CUTCHOGUE FIRE DEPARTMENT | Members of the Cutchogue Fire Department put out a car fire on Monday.

07/02/13 12:00pm
07/02/2013 12:00 PM
PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Riverhead firefighters outside Cliff's Rendezvous after last Tuesday's grease fire.

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Riverhead firefighters outside Cliff’s Rendezvous after last Tuesday’s grease fire.

Cliff’s Rendezvous is slowly recovering and rebuilding from a fire at the popular downtown eatery last week, the restaurant’s owner said Monday.

Owner Cliff Saunders said last Tuesday’s fire started when one of the chefs in the kitchen left a pan of bacon unattended near the oven and the boiler.

“It must’ve spattered and that’s why it ignited,” Mr. Saunders said.

The Riverhead Fire Department arrived at the restaurant shortly before 3 p.m. to extinguish the blaze. The firefighting effort closed down a part of East Main Street between Union and Maple avenues for about an hour before roads were reopened.

As a result of the fire, the restaurant suffered minor damage and has been closed since last week, Mr. Saunders said. A small section of the roof near the chimney was charred as a result of the fire, he said, adding that carpeting in the lower dining room was damaged and will have to be replaced as well.

“There was some damage from the firemen using the hose,” Mr. Saunders said. “It washed out into the dining room and it kind of flooded the floor so we had to tear the carpet up … The damage is fairly minimal, it’s just a matter of rebuilding.”

Mr. Saunders said he hopes to reopen the restaurant within a week or two.

He said he was grateful for the outpouring of support from both town employees and the community.

“The town has been nothing but stellar,” Mr. Saunders said. “A couple of our customers work for the town and they want to see us open.”

Just a few days after the fire at Cliff’s Rendezvous, a major fire occurred at Athens Grill just down the street. Having been through a similar, but less severe incident, Mr. Saunders is sympathetic to what his neighbors are going through now and was glad no one was hurt in either fire.

“If you drive down Main Street past Athens Grill you can still smell [the smoke] in the road,” Mr. Saunders said. “I just hope they can get everything repaired, because something like that could have happened to us.”

07/01/13 11:06am

RACHEL YOUNG PHOTO | A LIPA worker cuts the line at a house fire on Delmar Drive in laurel Monday morning.

One day after moving into a house they were renting on Delmar Drive in Laurel, a family was forced to evacuate when an electrical fire sparked.

The fire broke out at about 10:30 a.m. Monday, as a Cablevision worker was installing service to the house, officials said.

“Someone was working on the house, they hit a wire and that’s what started it,” said Cutchogue fire chief Tony Berkoski.

Conditions in the burning house were challenging, the chief said, with temperatures as high as 140 degrees.

LIPA arrived at the scene shortly before 11 a.m. to cut off power, as firefighters used an ax to break through the side of the house to reach the blaze.

“We had a hard time because the house was built properly, it had double sheetrock on the walls and ceiling so it was hard to pull down,” Mr. Berkoski said. “That was the problem. Once the fire got into the ceiling it was hard to get down.”

Nobody inside the house was injured, but at two fire fighters were taken to Eastern Long Island Hospital for treatment of heat exhaustion.

The Cutchogue and Jamesport Fire Departments assisted Mattituck at the scene.

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05/06/13 8:49am
05/06/2013 8:49 AM
JAMESPORT FIRE DEPARTMENT COURTESY PHOTO | A motorcycle burst into flames Friday, the second incident in a busy week for the volunteers.

JAMESPORT FIRE DEPARTMENT COURTESY PHOTO | A motorcycle burst into flames Friday, the second incident in a busy week for the volunteers.

The summer season is just a month away but the Jamesport Fire Department was already hard at work this week as three separate fires sparked across town in just under a week, fire officials said.

Firefighters got the call of the first fire Wednesday about 2:35 p.m. for an outside fire on Tuthills Lane. Fire crews arrived at the street to find a “large pile of hay bales” on fire, fire officials said. The fire had already spread to a nearby wooden fence that surrounded the hay bales, but firefighters used two fire engines to put out the flames and prevent the fire from spreading.

JAMESPORT FIRE DEPARTMENT COURTESY PHOTO | Firefighters extinguish a rekindled bonfire on Saturday.

JAMESPORT FIRE DEPARTMENT COURTESY PHOTO | Firefighters extinguish a rekindled bonfire on Saturday.

Two days later, Jamesport firefighters were called to the scene of a motorcycle accident at Sound Avenue and Herricks Lane, officials said. A motorcycle was lying in the middle of the road and had burst into flames, fire officials said.

Riverhead Town police said the driver of the 2011 Kawasaki motorcycle, a 19-year-old man from Cutchogue, lost control of the vehicle about 7:35 p.m. and dumped the motorcycle before it caught fire.

A fire engine arrived on scene and put out the fire while fire police and Riverhead police closed the road.

The teen was taken to Peconic Bay Medical Center for treatment of a hand injury, police said.

The next day on Saturday, Jamesport firefighters were called to a second outside fire at a park near Hallockville. Volunteers used two fire engines and an off-road vehicle to quickly extinguish the fire.

Fire officials said the fire “appeared to have been a large unattended bonfire which had rekindled.”

Jamesport Fire Chief Duffy Griffiths said residents should take extra precautions as the summer season approaches to conduct outside activities safely.

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04/10/13 5:59am
04/10/2013 5:59 AM
PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Cutchogue firefighters douse a Cutchogue house after it was destroyed by fire early Wednesday.

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Cutchogue firefighters douse a Cutchogue house after it was destroyed by fire early Wednesday.

An unoccupied Cutchogue house was destroyed by a fire that ripped through the roof and left the back of the house in ashes early Wednesday morning, fire officials said.

Neighbors of the house on Dean Drive spotted flames coming from the property about 12:15 a.m., fire officials said. Cutchogue firefighters and Southold Town police were the first on the scene and found the house engulfed in flames, said Cutchogue Fire Department first assistant chief Bill Brewer.

“The flames were through the roof,” Mr. Brewer said. The “intense heat” from the fire was threatening nearby homes, he said.

Volunteers from the Cutchogue and Mattituck fire departments fought the fire for more than two hours, fire officials said. Southold firefighters were also on standby at Cutchogue Fire Department headquarters, Mr. Brewer said.

By 1:15 a.m., the fire was under control and firefighters were dousing the embers of the fire.

No one was inside the home at the time of the blaze, and no one was injured, a Southold Town police officer said. None of the nearby houses were damaged, Mr. Brewer said.

Though the cause of the fire has yet to be determined and both Southold Town police and the Suffolk County Arson Squad are investigating, the fire doesn’t appear to be suspicious, fire officials said.

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03/11/13 5:30pm
03/11/2013 5:30 PM
House fire in Aquebogue

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | The Meetinghouse Creek Road house was deemed unsafe and was slated to be knocked down after Monday afternoon’s fire.

A woman and her adult son escaped a house fire in Aquebogue unharmed Monday before the house on Meeting House Creek Road became “fully involved” with flames, emergency officials said.

Fire officials said the emergency call was received about 1:30 p.m., after a neighbor saw smoke coming out of a window.

“There’s heat, fire coming out of every opening,” Riverhead Fire Department press officer Bill Sanok said shortly after firefighters arrived on scene.

As of 3 p.m., the fire was out in most of the house but was still active in the attic, Mr. Sanok said.

Riverhead police Lt. David Lessard said the homeowner told police she had smelled “fuel oil” earlier in the day and was inside the house with her son when the fire broke out. The two ran off the property as smoke engulfed the home and watched on through the afternoon as firefighters battled the blaze.

An employee of the nearby Lighthouse Marina said he saw the smoke and then heard a woman screaming. She then emerged from the house yelling for her pets, he said.

“It just got worse and worse,” the man said of the fire.

Lt. Lessard said an initial investigation found there were 19 domestic cats living in the home.

One Riverhead police officer who arrived on the scene, Charlie Silleck, was able to break a basement window and free one of the cats that was loose, Lt. Lessard said. The fate of the other cats is unknown, he said.

Jamesport Fire Department’s Rapid Intervention team also responded to the scene to assist.

Highway superintendent George “Gio” Woodson arrived on scene with heavy equipment about 3:15 p.m. to knock down the building, which was deemed unsafe. Firefighters were still on the scene of the fire at 5 p.m.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation by the Riverhead Fire Marshals, Lt. Lessard said.

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03/04/13 5:35pm
03/04/2013 5:35 PM
PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Riverhead Fire Marshals investigate the scene of Monday morning's house fire.

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Fire marshals investigate the scene of Monday morning’s house fire.

The pre-dawn fire that completely destroyed an Aquebogue home Monday was caused accidentally by a candle being used in the homeowner’s bedroom, Riverhead police and neighbors said.

Police got a report of fire at the Trout Brook Lane house about 4 a.m. and arrived on the scene to find the porch completely engulfed in flames, according to a police report.

The homeowner and his daughter, whose names were not released, were taken to Peconic Bay Medical Center for treatment of smoke inhalation and minor burns, authorities said. The family’s dog was killed in the fire, fire officials said.

Neighbors said a family cat is also missing.

Riverhead firefighters rushed to the scene and fought the blaze for more than two hours, using a ladder truck to get onto the roof of the house. Flanders Fire Department also helped in putting out the fire, officials siad. By 6 a.m., the fire was extinguished.

Video of Riverhead firefighters battling Monday morning’s fire.

Steve Amato, a friend of the homeowner and an insurance agent, said the victim was feeling ill early Monday morning. The man was looking at photos with the candle when the fire started, he said.

The contents of the home were completely ruined and the house will have to be torn down, Mr. Amato said, adding that homeowner returned to the property after he was released from the hospital to bury his beloved 7-year-old pet in the backyard, he said.

Neighbors said the victim had been living on the block for the past 12 years.

The victims’ next-door neighbor, Lidia, said she was woken up just after 4 a.m. by screaming.

“When I looked out the window, I saw a police car in front of my driveway,” said Lidia, who did not give her last name. Debris from the fire had fallen into her backyard, she added.

The victims’ neighbors said they are planning to establish a donation fund to help him and his daughter get a fresh start in the wake of the fire.

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03/04/13 10:02am

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Firefighters responded to a fire on Trout Brook Lane in Aquebogue at 4 a.m. Monday.

Riverhead firefighters rushed to the scene of a house fire on Trout Brook Lane at 4 a.m. Monday and began fighting the blaze, using a ladder truck to get onto the roof of the house. Flanders Fire Department also aided in putting out the fire, according to a fire report.

03/04/13 7:26am
PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Riverhead firefighters battle a house fire early Monday morning.

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Riverhead firefighters battle a house fire early Monday morning.

A father and daughter were hospitalized with non-serious injuries early Monday morning after their Aquebogue house was almost completely destroyed by fire, authorities said.

Riverhead police received a report of the house fire on Trout Brook Lane just past Robert Street about 4 a.m., authorities said. Police arrived on the scene to find the house engulfed in flames.

Riverhead firefighters rushed to the scene and began fighting the blaze, using a ladder truck to get onto the roof of the house. Flanders Fire Department also aided in putting out the fire, according to a fire report.

Riverhead ambulance volunteers immediately took the father and daughter, who were inside the house at the time of the fire, to Peconic Bay Medical Center, according to Riverhead Fire Chief Anthony White and Ambulance Corps officials.

Police at the scene said the victims’ injuries were not serious. No firefighters were hurt in the blaze, but the family’s pet dog was killed, said third assistant fire chief Pete Jackman.

By 6 a.m., the fire was extinguished.

Neighbors said the man who owns the house had been living on the block for the past 12 years. His daughter had recently moved in, they said.

The victims’ next-door neighbor, Lidia, said she was woken up just after 4 a.m. by screaming.

“When I looked out the window, I saw a police car in front of my driveway,” said Lidia, who did not give her last name. Debris from the fire had fallen into her backyard, she added.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, Mr. White said.

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