An early morning fire gutted The Fish Dock, a packing house by in Montauk.
David (Buzzy) Browne said the responded to the blaze at the refueling and small fish packing facility at about 3 a.m.
"The building is mostly gutted. There's a lot of damage on the dock-side," he said.
The cause of the fire was not immediately known, as Browne said he is still working on a determination.
However, Browne said the wax-coated cardboard fish boxes and the 20 to 30 mph winds fueled the fire's intensity.
"It was really windy and it really pushed it through the building," he said.
"If nobody had seen it, it could have gone right down through all the businesses on the dock," he said. "The Montauk firemen did a good stop on it."
On Friday afternoon, Montauk Fish Dock owner Paul Farnham was still reeling from the morning's occurences. This is the second time his business has been the victim of a fire.
The last fire was about 10 years ago, he said, when a television shorted-out sparking a blaze. It took about a year and a half to rebuild, though the damage wasn't quite as extensive, he said.
The property and building are owned by Chip Duryea.
Farnham is already thinking about getting the business up and running, even with the interior of the building in tatters. "We want to keep the business going," he said, adding that people have already stopped by to offer help. "It's an important part of the community and the history of the town."
Receive updates to this story and other breaking news in your inbox or smartphone by signing up for our newsletter here
Bonnie Brady, the executive director of Long Island Commercial Fishing Association, said the fire could have an affect on not only Duryea's business, but the commercial fishing industry in Montauk.
"There's only two fish docks in Montauk, there's Inlet and there's The Fish Dock," she said. "Him not being able to get up and running quickly is a big concern to the whole fleet frankly."
The Fish Dock serves "most of the guys who are on the town dock who pack fish — long-liners, scallopers, day boats, — that's his clientele right there," she said.
"The community will do whatever we need to do to help," she said.