The quick actions of an employee of a popular Wainscott pizza place may have saved a Bridgehampton store from complete destruction Monday night.
Joey Belfiore said Tuesday he was
driving home on Montauk Highway from La Capannina pizzeria when he
smelled smoke. As a former volunteer firefighter in West Islip, he said,
"I knew the smell of the house fire when I smelled it. It's a very
distinct smell compared to a brush fire or something."
He kept driving and saw the smoke, but did not immediately see the
source, he said. He pulled over, grabbed a flashlight, and searched for
it. He said he quickly found the building, where smoke was blowing out
the second floor windows, and he called 911.
Belfiore said that, upon his arrival, "I tried yelling to see if anybody was in the house." It turned out that no one was inside the building, which is now being used as a business, Deckline of
America, at 2183 Montauk Highway.
It took between two and two and a half hours to completely put the fire
out, Bridgehampton Fire Chief Gary Horsburgh said, because the building was full of antiques, furniture and
boxes that kept smoldering. It was full of "everything except
for the kitchen sink," he said, and furniture had to be thrown out the
The damage was most contained to the second floor and the roof, and though it will take some time for repairs, the building was saved from total loss, according to fire officials.