Quick Response, Bad Damage Nonetheless

A neighbor reported flames at 52 Cedar Drive, between Locust and Dogwood Drives, at 5:46 p.m.
Most of the front of a house at 52 Cedar Drive in Springs was charred in a fire Tuesday that investigators believe started on the exterior. Michael Heller/East Hampton Fire Department

The Springs Fire Department quickly extinguished a fire that was believed to have started on the exterior of a house in Springs on Tuesday evening, but the house was badly damaged, according to Chief Ben Miller.

A neighbor reported flames at 52 Cedar Drive, between Locust and Dogwood Drives, at 5:46 p.m., according to the chief. The fire, which he said started to the left of the front door, had already traveled up the side of the house and into the eaves, burning through the attic.

No one was home at the time.

“We knocked it down in 15 minutes, and the rest was overhaul,” Chief Miller said, adding that the department used a nearby hydrant for water supply. “We made a good stop.”

The house is not livable at this time, the chief said. Most of the front wall was burned, basement stairwells were badly damaged, and part of the roof collapsed on the one-story, two-bedroom house. The rest of the house sustained smoke damage, he said.

The East Hampton fire marshal’s office, which is investigating the fire, had not determined its cause as of yesterday, said Tom Baker, a fire marshal, but Chief Miller said he does not believe it is suspicious. Mr. Baker was to meet a homeowner at the property yesterday morning. The tax receiver’s office lists Robert and Susan Jones of Massapequa as the owners.

The East Hampton Fire Department’s rapid intervention team also responded to assist. In total, there were about 35 volunteers at the fire.

Just a few minutes after the first arriving chief confirmed the house was ablaze, an accident was reported elsewhere in the fire district. Since the Springs Fire Department’s fleet was responding to the fire, Chief Miller immediately asked the East Hampton Fire Department and East Hampton Village Volunteer Ambulance Association to respond to the intersection of Holly Oak Avenue and Church Lane. Chief Miller said an assistant captain who lives in the area passed by the two-car accident on his way to the fire.