A drunken driver lost control of his car and crashed into a house on Hayground Road in Water Mill early Sunday morning. The car burst into flames that ultimately did substantial damage to the residence, Southampton Town police reported. The two adults and one child who were inside at the time escaped the fire without injury.
"It was an absolute miracle that no one suffered a serious injury," said Southampton Town Police Sgt. Steve Miller, who was at the scene. "That includes the driver, his passenger, those in the house, and the firefighters."
The driver, Alec H. Wasser, 21, of Water Mill, was driving at a high rate of speed, police said, north on Mecox Road when he failed to negotiate a turn at the intersection of Hayground Road at about 1:15 a.m. The car went off the road and crashed into the house, which sits in a fork dividing Hayground and Mecox Roads.
Firefighters from several departments battled the blaze for about three hours in the bitter cold and high winds.
Mr. Wasser, who was not injured, was allegedly intoxicated and was placed under arrest. A female passenger in the car had a minor hand injury and was transported to Southampton Hospital. Her name was not immediately released.
Mr. Wasser was charged with driving while intoxicated, a misdemeanor, along with three moving violations: driving at an unsafe speed, failing to maintain his lane of travel, and failing to use the designated lane of travel. He was scheduled to be arraigned in Southampton Town Justice Court later Sunday morning.
Four fire departments responded. The Bridgehampton Fire Department called for assistance from the Southampton, Sag Harbor, and East Hampton departments. Amagansett firefighters stood at the ready in Bridgehampton, as well. The Sag Harbor Volunteer Ambulance Corps and the Southampton Village Volunteer Ambulance company also assisted. A Southampton Town Highway Department truck responded to sand the roads because of icy conditions caused by the water used to fight the fire.
No injuries to firefighters were reported.
This article was updated after photos were released.