Updated: Fire at the Montauk Tower
Update, Jan. 11, 11:30 p.m.: A fire at the Tower building in Montauk Thursday night started in a small shed that is connected to the building, according to Mickey Valcich, the Fire Department's first assistant chief.
"The shed that houses the cables for the antennas on the Tower ignited," he said on Friday morning. "It was a very small fire, but because of the direction of the wind, it was pushing the smoke into the building. There was no fire in the building, just a lot smoke."
The initial report was of heavy smoke on the first floor, he said, but there were no flames found by the first responding officers. The building was immediately evacuated, the chief said, adding that there were very few residents there this time of year. No injuries were reported.
"We have no idea why that ignited," Chief Valcich said. The East Hampton Town fire marshal's office is investigating, but he said he was told it was not suspicious.
When reached at the office on Friday, David Browne, the chief fire marshal, confirmed that the fire did not appear suspicious, but said the cause remained undetermined. He said investigators were back this morning to dig a little further.
None of the wires, which are for cellphone antennas on the building's roof, burned, just the wooden shed, Mr. Browne said.
Update, Jan. 10, 10:03 p.m.: Montauk firefighters battled a fire that appears to have started in the basement of the Tower building on Thursday night.
The Montauk Fire Department was called out to the seven-story condominium building at 55 South Euclid Avenue, in the heart of the hamlet's downtown, for a report of smoke in the basement at about 8:25 p.m. Firefighters reported a heavy smoke condition on the first floor.
It was not clear if the building, East Hampton Town's tallest building, built before zoning restrictions on height were ever in place, was evacuated. Search teams went in and quickly found the source of the fire, though they later reported finding flames on the north side of the building, which were also quickly extinguished.
Firefighters were packing up to go back to the firehouse at about 9:30 p.m. There was no word immediately on the extent of the damage.
Neither the fire marshal on duty nor the newly elected fire chief, David Ryan, could immediately be reached.
The Tower was once known as the Carl Fisher office building, for the developer who built it in in the 1920s with the hopes of making Montauk the Miami Beach of the north. Some residents of the condominium enjoy panoramic ocean views.