Six Fire Departments Fight Water Mill House Fire

Six fire departments responded to a fire, which destroyed part of a house on Thursday afternoon Taylor K. Vecsey

Firefighters from six different departments braved hot, humid weather Thursday to battle a fire that badly damaged part of a house in Water Mill, though they were able to stop it from spreading.

Bridgehampton Fire Department Chief Gary Horsburgh said the first captain to arrive at 285 Hayground Road, north of Montauk Highway, reported "flames blowing through the roof." A homeowner had called 911 at about 4:10 p.m.

The fire, believed to be electrical in nature, was under control in about 25 to 30 minutes, according to Second Assistant Chief Jeff White, who was one of the first to arrive at the house. The occupants were already outside.

Since the flames went behind the Sheetrock, it was an hour and 15 minutes to an hour and a half before firefighters fully extinguished all of the fire, the chiefs said.

The southside of the second floor of the house was destroyed, Chief Horsburgh said. The kitchen below had heavy water damage, he said. "The northside of the house is in good shape, though. It was a good stop."

The fire may have started in the attic, and the Southampton Town Fire Marshal's office is investigating the cause.

Chief Horsburgh said he immediately called for assistance from neighboring fire departments, partly due to the high temperature — it was 86 degrees when the fire broke out. Firefighters, wearing up to 50 pounds of gear, can easily overheat."Because it was so hot, we have to rotate guys out quickly," he said, adding, "I didn't go inside and I was dying."

No injuries were reported, the chief said.

In all, about 80 to 100 firefighters responded. Bridgehampton had help from fire departments from East Hampton, North Sea, Southampton, and Sag Harbor, which brought its rapid intervention team in case firefighters needed to be rescued. The Amagansett Fire Department stood by with an engine at Bridgehampton's headquarters, along with an ambulance from the East Hampton Village Ambulance Association.

Southampton Village Volunteer Ambulance joined Bridgehampton emergency medical technicians in checking firefighters' vital signs after they went to work inside.

All firefighters were back in service by about 6:15 p.m.