UPDATE: Sunday, 12 p.m.
The Beach Hut at Cupsogue Beach in Westhampton was destroyed in a large blaze that engulfed the entire shack Saturday night, Westhampton Beach Fire Chief John “Chip” Bancroft said Sunday morning.
Chief Bancroft said a call was made at 8:03 p.m. by a Cupsogue employee working the booth in the parking lot at the entry of the beach, and fire departments arrived on the scene by 8:17 p.m. Westhampton 3rd Assistant Chief Billy Dalton ran the operation for the first three hours.
Twenty different departments and ambulance corps were at the scene to offer mutual aid while Wading River stood by at the Westhampton Beach firehouse. Departments were there until mid-morning Sunday.
As of Sunday morning, Chief Bancroft said the cause of the blaze was unknown, although it was being investigated by the Suffolk County fire marshal’s office and Suffolk County Police Arson Squad. The building, which was made of heavy timber, was destroyed and taken down. The chief said that only a portion of the deck leading onto the beach remained, as the ramps in the Beach Hut area were compromised as well.
“The whole thing, it’s gone,” the chief said. “That heavy timber created a very long fire.”
Propane tanks near the site of the fire had posed a large concern Saturday night, but they were removed as soon as possible Sunday morning, the chief said.
Chief Bancroft said that because there were no buildings near or around the Beach Hut, the blaze was “completely wind-fed.” The fact that the snack bar was closed due to inclement weather also worked to an advantage for the responding departments because no one was there, so no injuries occurred.
To control the strong flames, the fire departments had to run about 2,000 feet, or a half mile, of hose along Dune Road because there was no hydrant or other source of water to extinguish the fire.
UPDATE: 10:30 p.m.
The fire at the Cupsogue Beach Hut in Westhampton has died down, although more sirens could be heard heading down Dune Road, according to witnesses.
Witnesses also said that two propane tanks are close to the blaze and responders are hoping they don’t explode.
Cove Lane resident Kim Brown, 25, said that as recent at 10:10 p.m., fire fighters had almost completely tackled the fire at the Cupsogue Beach Hut. Ms. Brown had a view of the blaze from her window and said she still saw at least two cranes spraying down onto the fire.
“It’s definitely died down at this point,” Ms. Brown said. “It’s looking better.
“It’s pretty insane. Pretty huge,” she continued.
Ms. Brown said she noticed the fire from her window around 8 p.m. and rode her bike down Dune Road, on which fire departments had run down a hose. She said no homes appeared to be evacuated, and that several firetrucks and police cars were at the scene.
Ms. Brown, who worked at the Beach Hut in summer 2012, said the snack shack was closed today due to the rain, so the possibility of people being at the structure was unlikely.
“The whole thing was in flames. I cant imagine there’s anything left. It was spreading to the pavilion part too,” she said.
She confirmed that the fire is still being tackled, but that flames were not visible anymore.
Several fire departments responded to a fire at the Cupsogue Beach Hut in Westhampton Saturday night.
According to Southampton Town Police, fire departments from Hampton Bays, Eastport, and Flanders tackled a large blaze that engulfed the entire snack shack. The West Hampton Dunes constable was also on the scene, police said.
To view a video, please click here.