Cause Of Saturday Night Blaze Still Unknown


UPDATE: Monday, 12:15 p.m.

The cause of the fire that destroyed three apartments above an electrical business in North Sea on Saturday evening is still unknown, according to Charles Knoebel, the owner of the building.

Early Monday afternoon, Mr. Knoebel, a co-owner of Gary and Charles Knoebel Electric Inc. since 1972, said the fire caused extensive water and heat damage to all three of the apartments, which are located above his Mary’s Lane business. While all three of the apartments were being rented, only one tenant was home at the time of the blaze, but she safely exited the building before fire officials arrived on scene and no injuries were reported.

“We just want to thank everybody who helped,” Mr. Knoebel said this week. “All of the volunteers who were on the scene and everybody who has helped us out since—they saved my building and they did an excellent job.”

Mr. Knoebel also said that his family intends to rebuild the area affected by the fire but does not know if it will still be utilized as apartments. He added that no decisions have been made yet. The electric company has remained opened since the blaze.

“We have been in business since 1972, and we plan on staying in business and rebuilding,” he said.

Southampton Town Fire Marshal John Rankin, who is investigating the fire, was not available for comment on Monday.


Five local fire departments responded to a fire on Mary’s Lane in North Sea on Saturday night.

Southampton, Hampton Bays, Sag Harbor and Bridgehampton fire departments responded to a call for mutual aid that went out at 10:28 p.m., Southampton Fire Department Public Information Officer Chris Brenner said, arriving at the fire near that happened near the intersection of North Sea Road shortly thereafter.

North Sea Fire Department Chief William Rosko could not be reach immediately to comment on the specifics of the fire, but Mr. Brenner said the fire was extinguished and departments were exiting the scene by 1 a.m.

The Southampton Fire Department responded with a ladder truck and a pump truck, Mr. Brenner said.

The Southampton Town Police also responded to the scene for assistance.

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