The Fire Island Fire: Surveying the Damage
Fires burned uncontrolled for hours in the Fire Island Pines commercial district in New York on Monday night. Fueled by winds, the blaze along the harbor destroyed buildings that house businesses including the the popular club Pavilion, LaFountaine, and one home.
Andrew Kirtzman, a co-owner of the properties, released a statement from the scene Tuesday morning via Facebook. He said the fire was under control and officials did not believe the cause to be suspicious. They believe the fire started outside LaFountaine before spreading to the Pavilion.
“Both the Pavilion and LaFountaine buildings are still standing, but they have been completely gutted by fire and water,” said Kirtzman. “Sip n' Twirl, the Bistro and the stores below them are in ruin. Then roof over the Pavilion is gone, and the high tea deck has been destroyed.”
Kirtzman said the Suffolk County Fire Department had called for bulldozers to demolish the still-smoldering Pavilion, which appeared in too dangerous a condition to save.
No injuries were reported in the fire.
More than 20 fire departments from Long Island responded to the fire, Newsday reports. Video of firefighters riding the ferry to reach the unfolding tragedy circulated online.
Kirtzman, who purchased the properties with Matthew Blesso and Seth Weissman in 2010, said they planned to renew the area and would discuss how to ready it for the 2012 summer season.
The gay community reacted with shock to the news on social media, as reported by GaySocialites.com.
See more photos of the aftermath on the following pages.