A big fire blazed through Fire Island Pines of New York’s Long Island on Monday night and needed 400 firefighters from 28 fire departments to be subdued. So far, no injuries were reported.
The fire ruined a two-building entertainment complex and the popular Pavilion nightclub. Inside the complex, the shops, bars and offices were completely gutted and indistinguishable piles of black ash were left on the walls.
The blaze caused propane tanks raining down around the community, destroyed a house across the harbor, and left the residents watching from their windows and the dock shocked.
According to Joseph Geiman, the Fire Department Commissioner of Fire Island Pines, the fire appeared to start about 9 p.m. Monday in an alley near a propane sales facility. The blaze spread, causing the propane tanks to explode.
The whole roof was just one ball of flame. I was up on my roof deck, and I saw a little bit of flame from the back of the buildings. Fifteen minutes later, the whole thing was engulfed,” resident Wayne Heyser told the Newsday.
Brookhaven Town Supervisor Mark Lesko said the officials have not found out how the fire started and it was too early to estimate the total amount of the damage.
It is clear that The Pavilion dance club, a place popular among gay was completely destroyed. Several investors include Andrew Kirtzman, a former NY1 and WCBS-TV newscaster and author bought the Pavilion nightclub for $17 million in 2010. They control 80 percent of the Pines’ commercial properties.
The adjacent LaFountaine building, containing the Sip & Twirl dance club, two real estate offices, a pizza parlor, and a clothing shop, was ruined.
“The air in the harbor is still thick with smoke, but the fire has not spread anywhere else, thanks to the incredible work of the Pines Fire Department and the departments that raced to its aid, Kirtzman said.
We will help one another get the commercial district ready for summer 2012 and begin the process of renewing this beautiful property and making it even more spectacular than it was before,” Kirtzman wrote on his Facebook page.
Now fire department and police officials are trying to determine the exact cause of the explosive fire.