House Fire Gets Rapid Response on Busy Morning for Firefighters

The inside of a house on Three Mile Harbor-Hog Creek Road was gutted by a fire on Tuesday morning. Michael Heller photos

A fire gutted a house in Springs on Tuesday morning, though firefighters, who were already out with a nearby pole fire, quickly doused the flames. 

Passersby on Three Mile Harbor-Hog Creek Road reported seeing flames across from the head of the harbor and an East Hampton Town police officer confirmed a house was on fire, according to Darrin Downs, the second assistant chief of the Springs Fire Department. The house was unoccupied. Police checked with neighbors, who said the homeowners are only here on weekends, the chief said.

The East Hampton Fire Department was already at the ready with a large crew and an engine after responding to a pole fire on the corner of Miller Lane and Miller Lane West at about 5:40 a.m., and to a carbon monoxide call on Gordon Street. Chief Richard Osterberg Jr. offered an engine and crew to Chief Downs, who accepted the help. East Hampton firefighters, who arrived to find "heavy fire" inside the house, made a quick interior attack, according to Gerry Turza, East Hampton's second assistant chief, who also responded to Springs. 

The Springs firefighters began by pouring water on the house from the outside, and then went inside, Chief Downs said. "The fire was contained and under control in 20 to 30 minutes," he said. Amagansett Fire Department's rapid intervention team stood by in case the firefighters on the inside needed to be rescued. 

What was more difficult to find was the source of the blaze. The older house had an addition and two roofs, making it difficult to get to all the hidden pockets, Chief Downs said. About 30 firefighters from East Hampton and 30 from Springs remained on scene for about an hour. No injuries were reported.

Chief Downs said that the inside of the house was gutted by the flames, though he was not sure how long it was burning before passersby called 911. "It definitely had a head start on us," he said. 

The East Hampton Town fire marshal's office is investigating the cause of the fire. The fire marshal's office was not immediately available for comment. 

While the house is still standing, the inside of the house is gutted, fire chiefs said. Morgan McGivern