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Cause of Fire That Destroyed 2 Houses in Montauk Not Yet Determined

Fire investigators believe fire started in southern building and spread to the north.

Photo Credit: Michael Heller/East Hampton Fire Department
Photo Credit: Michael Heller/East Hampton Fire Department
The fire that destroyed two small houses in the Montauk Shores Condominiums complex last week remains under investigation.

East Hampton Town Chief Fire Marshal Dave (Buzzy) Browne said no determination for what started the raging fire has been made yet. There was "not much evidence left to give any clear indications," he said, adding that there is nothing as of yet to indicate it is suspicious.

Firefighters responded to the oceanfront mobile home complex at 100 Deforest Road on Nov. 13 at around 6 a.m.  They found two small houses — which Browne said were a cross between a modular and a typical mobile home and were wood construction — fully engulfed in flames. 

The two houses, located about 150 feet from the dune line, were about 12 to 15 feet apart, and two tool sheds, behind the houses, were also lost. While extinguishing the blaze, they also stopped it from spreading to about five or six other houses in the park. 

The fire was originally thought to have started in the northern building and spread to the second one since northwest winds were gusting about 20 mph at the time. 

However, Fire Marshal Tom Baker, who is heading up the investigation, said he believes the fire started in the smaller trailer to the south. "Weather and wind conditions, building construction and height points us in that direction," he said.

Baker spent Wednesday at the scene rummaging through debris with an insurance investigator honing in on the origin, but they have not yet determined a cause, he said. "It's like peeling an onion," he said. "Sometimes it's long and arduous."

East Hampton Fire Department firefighter and photographer Michael Heller captured some photos at the scene. Click here for those photos.


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