Sagaponack Barn Burns

A hazardous materials team from Southampton's fire department was dispatched as a precautionary measure

A Sagaponack farm owned by the Schwenk family was the scene of a fire Sunday afternoon. As firemen battled the conflagration, Route 27 near the border of Southampton and East Hampton Towns was closed for several hours just before the commencement of the end-of-weekend exodus.

The Bridgehampton, Southampton, Amagansett, Sag Harbor, and North Sea Fire Departments responded to the 12:15 call. The fire was in a storage barn housing a variety of equipment and a plume of smoke could be seen for miles across the open vista of verdant potato fields.

A hazardous materials team from Southampton's fire department was dispatched as a precautionary measure, in case fertilizer was in the barn, Sgt. Susan Ralph of the Southampton Town police said Monday morning. Fertilizer, specifically ammonium nitrate, can be a powerful explosive. It was used to devastating effect in the 1995 terrorist attack on an Oklahoma City federal office building.

No one was hurt battling the Sagaponack blaze and, as of Monday, ongoing investigations had yet to reveal its cause.