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Chief: Cove Hollow Road Fire Started Outside

East Hampton fire chief says propane tanks for a grill exploded after the fire began, possibly sending the fire to the second-story; Fire's cause still under investigation.

A house at 26 Cove Hollow Road in East Hampton caught fire on Monday night.
A house at 26 Cove Hollow Road in East Hampton caught fire on Monday night.
A fire at an East Hampton house on Monday night seems to have started outside, but the exact cause is under investigation, according to East Hampton Fire Chief Tom Bono.

East Hampton Town Chief Fire Marshal Dave "Buzzy" Browne said Fire Marshal Tom Baker was at the house sifting through debris with insurance investigators on Tuesday afternoon. Browne said the fire does not appear to be suspicious.

Bono said the homeowner called 911 at about 6 p.m. after hearing an explosion, and firefighters quickly stopped the fire from spreading to the rest of the house.

When firefighters arrived to find the fire on the outside of the side of the house, which had travelled into a second-floor bedroom. "Flames were shooting up the whole side of the house," Bono said.

Bono said he believes the explosions heard were the two propane tanks for an outdoor grill. "I think that's what shot the fire up the side of the house, but I'm not sure what started the fire to begin with," he said.

The chief emptied out the fire house — two engines, a hose truck, ladder truck, and tanker responded. He called for the Sag Harbor Fire Department's Rapid Intervention Team, in case firefighters needed to be rescued, but they just stood by.

"We put a stop to it really quick. Very good job by the guys knocking the fire down," he said, adding that they used only 200 gallons of water to extinguish the flames. The damage was mostly on the exterior of the house, but firefighters had to cut a hole in the roof in the bedroom and a window blew out. "We kept it contained to the outside of the house," he said.

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