Safelite Building Damaged

Firefighters doused a fire at the Safelite AutoGlass building in Bridgehampton on Monday evening. Michael Heller photos

A fire Monday evening at Safelite AutoGlass in Bridgehampton left the building badly damaged, but firefighters saved it from total destruction. 

When the blaze was first reported at about 6:50, smoke was seen pouring from the eaves of the building, which is at the intersection of Montauk Highway and Hildreth Lane. Flames could be seen not long after. A plume of black smoke billowed out across the highway, making cars invisible just as the Bridgehampton Fire Department arrived.

The fire was in “the incipient stage,” Chief Jeff White said yesterday. “It was just getting going. You could tell it probably had started on the first floor, went up the wall into the second floor.” Firefighters had to use an ax to break through plaster to get to the wall, he said.

The cause is as yet unclear. The Southampton Town fire marshal’s office, which did not return a call for comment, is investigating.

Three-quarters of the building is occupied by Safelite AutoGlass, which repairs windshields. Garage doors are located in the back; the rest is an office. Safelite had closed at 5 p.m. No one was in the building when the fire broke out.

Montauk Highway was shut down between Bridgehampton Commons and Butter Lane as firefighters stretched hose across the road. The Bridgehampton volunteers battled the blaze with help from the Sag Harbor and Southampton departments. The fire was largely extinguished within 35 minutes, Chief White said, but firefighters remained on the scene for about an hour and 15 minutes.

The chief said the building was salvageable, and had not suffered structural damage. A car parked in the garage bay was pushed out and not damaged.

The East Hampton Fire Department stood by at the Bridgehampton Firehouse, ready to respond to any other 911 calls in the district. The Southampton Village Volunteer Ambulance helped Bridgehampton’s emergency medical technicians check on firefighters. No one was injured, though one firefighter sought treatment for smoke inhalation.

The building is owned by 2155 Hildreth Lane L.L.C., according to tax records. The Bridgehampton office is closed, but a representative from Safelite said work was still being done in the field.