Fire Damages Westhampton Home


The Westhampton Beach Fire Department responded to a blaze on Saturday morning that damaged a two-story home off Hamilton Avenue in Westhampton, though no one was injured, officials said.

Chief John “Chip” Bancroft said his department arrived on scene at around 10:30 a.m. and found that the flames had made their way up a kitchen wall and onto the second floor of the home. He explained that firefighters had the flames extinguished in about 20 minutes, though it took them longer to cut through the wall and floor to ensure that they would not reignite.

A woman who was home at the time the fire broke out reported it to authorities, according to the fire chief. She was not injured in the blaze.

Southampton Town Chief Fire Marshal Cheryl Kraft said the fire started near an oil tank outside the home and spread through oil lines that were insulated with straw to help keep them from freezing. The flames then worked their way inside the home, she said.

Southampton Town Fire Marshal Al Tyczkowski investigated the blaze, but could not be immediately reached for comment this week.

The Westhampton War Memorial Ambulance and the Eastport Fire Department also responded to the scene, according to fire officials.

Town records list the owner of the property as James and Carol Ann Del Vecchio. Fire department officials said a former chief of the Westhampton Beach Fire Department was living in the home with his family, though they declined to name him. Phonebook records list Shawn Ethier, who served as chief of the department from 2004 until 2006, as residing at that address. A message left at the home was not returned this week.

Chief Bancroft said the fire department helped the family make some repairs to the home after the fire, and they were able to board it up and install insulation to weather-proof the house. He and 1st Assistant Chief Ross Donneson said Monday that the house was not livable due to the damage.

“The guys made a real good stop,” the chief added.

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