A Sagaponack man died in a house fire early this morning, as did the man's dog, both trapped in a blaze that gutted the house at 198 Narrow Lane East, in Sagaponack, behind the Wolffer Estate Vineyard and horse farm. A female occupant of the house was able to escape the fire, which was first called in at 5:58 a.m. James Beres, 71, died, according to Southampton Town police.
"I thought I was dreaming," said a neighboring resident, recalling a siren that woke her up this morning. One moment, she said, it was twilight outside, the next, the pre-dawn darkness lit up as the house burst into flames. The neighbor would not give her name.
Besides the Bridgehampton Fire Department, which was first on the scene, the Southampton, East Hampton, and Sag Harbor departments were also called in, as were numerous local emergency medical teams.
Southampton Town police detectives were called in this morning, as were the town's fire marshals, the Suffolk police arson squad, medical examiner’s office, and the Suffolk Crime Scene Investigation unit.
“It was a tough call for everybody,” Southampton Detective James Mazzio said this afternoon, about the emergency responders on the scene. He said that the cause of the fire is under investigation.