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Wainscott Home Gutted in Early Morning Fire

Bridgehampton and East Hampton fire departments responded to a fire at the home of Bridgehampton Fire District treasurer and secretary; no serious injuries reported.

A Wainscott home was gutted early Thursday morning after a fire ripped through it, though fire officials reported no serious injuries in the blaze.

The fire inside the home, located on the corner of Sayre's Path, just south of Montauk highway, started burning around 4 a.m. in a rear corner of the home and quickly spread throughout the house, according to First Assistant Chief Gary Horsburgh.

"It was totally engulfed in flames," Horsburgh said. "It looks like a gutted house. It's still standing, but you can see right through it. It's just the framing, really."

Fire crews from Bridgehampton and East Hampton were packing up by 8 a.m. and an East Hampton Town Fire Marshal was on scene investigating the cause of the fire. The home belongs to Bridgehampton Fire District Secretary and Treasurer Charles Butler and his wife Wendy, tax records show. The treasurer position within the district is an elected one, and Butler is the longtime appointed secretary for the district.

Horsburgh said that he hadn't had a chance to talk to the Butlers, whose 21-year-old son died during the summer of 2010.

"When it's somebody you know, it's really tough," Horsburgh added. "But when we have a fire like this everybody comes together."

Chief Tim Doran was first on the scene, but was not immediately available for comment. Horsburgh said one firefighter was taken to the hospital for dizziness. The Butlers and their dog escaped from the fire uninjured. East Hampton Fire Department was called for mutual aid to help quell the fire and a portion of Montauk Highway was closed between Sayre's and Townline Road for the departments to lay hose.

East Hampton Fire Department Chief Tom Bono said they had one engine and about 25 to 30 firefighters respond. They were mainly given the task, he said, of protecting the neighboring house, which shared a driveway with the Butler house.

Embers were flying into the yard, so they soaked the ground with water to prevent any leaves from catching fire, he said. Chief Bono said several of his department's members know Charlie Butler, though he doesn't know him personally.

"Thank god they got out," he said.

Horsburgh said that any remaining damage from Hurricane Sandy did not immediately impact the department's ability to fight the fire, as trucks were able to get where they needed to be without any impediments.
Marianne Ward November 01, 2012 at 01:59 PM
Very very sad. My heart goes out to the Butler family.
Sue Guyer November 01, 2012 at 02:13 PM
OMG!!! Wendy and Charlie will be in our prayers. These are the times I wish we were there to do something..any thing.

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