More than 100 firefighters battle Water Mill blaze on New Year’s


On New Year’s Day morning, firefighters spent three hours in 15-degree weather battling a house fire in Water Mill.

The first and second floors of the Rose Hill Road home partially collapsed as fire crews attempted to fight the blaze from the inside of the house, requiring them to be pulled back, according to a Southampton Fire Department spokesman. It took firefighters an hour to bring the fire under control.

Chris Brenner, the Southampton Fire Department public information officer, said the department was called to the house at around 10 a.m. on Thursday, January 1. When the first unit to arrive determined the severity of the fire, additional fire departments were called in to provide more equipment and manpower. Approximately 125 firefighters were on the scene, and due to the frigid temperatures, fire crews needed to be rotated in and out of action, Mr. Brenner said.

Hampton Bays Fire Department supplied a rapid intervention team; the North Sea and Bridgehampton fire departments brought fire trucks to the scene; and the Sag Harbor Fire Department stood by for North Sea. The Southampton Volunteer Ambulance, Southampton Village Volunteer Ambulance, and Bridgehampton Fire Department Ambulance were on the scene as well to provide aid to firefighters, Mr. Brenner said. No injuries were reported.

The Long Island Power Authority cut power to the house, and the Southampton Town Highway Department salted and sanded the icy roadways.

Southampton Town Fire Marshal Al Tyczkowski said Wednesday that the fire started in the home’s electrical 
service panel in the northeast end of the basement, and the insurance 
company is still investigating, The house, a second home for a woman whose primary residence is in the Virgin Islands, was unoccupied at the time, he said.

Although the house was heavily damaged, Mr. Tyczkowski said he did not think it was a total loss.

Brendan O’Reilly

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