September 06, 2006

Fire Destroys Barn

On a night marked by pouring rain and fierce winds, every fire department on the North Fork turned out to battle a barn blaze on County Road 48 in Peconic.

The 1920s barn, owned by Tom Hubbard, was unoccupied and contained only hay and some farm equipment. "Nothing of value," he said. The cause of the fire was unclear as of press time.

But despite the lack of injuries, the unoccupied barn was "fully involved" and engulfed in flames when firefighters responded to the scene around 10:04 p.m. The Southold Fire Department received assistance from 60 firefighters from Cutchogue, Mattituck, East Marion and Orient Fire Departments, who extinguished the blaze around three hours later, according to Southold Fire Chief Bill Witzke. There was a long overhaul process, said the chief, which required the use of a backhoe to make sure the hay was not still burning.

Southold Councilman Al Krupski, who stored his hay and some wire used for deer fencing in the barn, said he was not sure how much financial damage he sustained.

The councilman said by the time he arrived on the scene, the barn was gone, and all that was left was "a smoldering mess of wet straw," which, because it was packed tightly, did not burn.

"All the fire departments were wonderful," he commended.

Hubbard said that he and his wife are "delighted that no one was injured. We hope to be able to rebuild."

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