A fire broke out on New York’s Fire Island around 1:00 a.m this morning. It’s not clear what sparked it but wind fueled the flames. At least four homes were completely destroyed in The Pines near the intersection of Cedar at Ocean and another two were severely damaged.
Officials say the fire started at a home located at 154 Ocean Walk. No serious injuries were reported.
Four houses were completely destroyed and two others were severely damaged, according to Fire Chief Joseph Geiman. All of the six homes are single-family, wood frame; only one was vacant, Geiman said. The chief said the people who live in the Ocean Walk home where the blaze started were out for the night. Their neighbors called authorities.
Up to 20 homes could have been lost, Geiman said, but firefighters managed to keep the flames from spreading further. Six propane containers caused an explosion, the chief added, which made the containment that much harder.
Fire Island is the large center island of the outer barrier islands parallel to the south shore of Long Island, New York. Fire Island’s The Pines and Cherry Grove are two beach communities with thriving gay populations. The remote location has served as a mecca for the LGBT community of New York since the ’60s when male model John B. Whyte developed The Pines.
However, Fire Island’s remote location is partially what makes fires so detrimental when they happen. There is a volunteer fire department in The Pines,. However, the majority of the fire fighters needed to fight flames like this morning’s had to be ferried over from Sayville to fight the blaze. 100 firefighters were involved with fighting the fire.
“So close to where I summered on Cottage Walk for five years,” Don Robinder told us. “Such a magical, special place that I hold fondly in my heart for eternity—I hate it when she lives up to her namesake.”