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Oct 2, 2018 12:08 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Firefighters Battle Blaze At The Creeks Estate In East Hampton

A fire broke out Friday night at the Creeks estate in East Hampton. Michael Heller
Oct 2, 2018 12:23 PM

More than 100 firefighters helped to extinguish flames on Friday night that sprang from the roof of the main house at the famous Creeks estate on Georgica Pond in East Hampton, the nearly 58-acre spread owned by Ronald Perelman, the billionaire philanthropist and chairman of Revlon.

“They did a nice job and saved it from being a total loss,” East Hampton Village Police Chief Mike Tracey said on Saturday morning. “It was a total team effort. It was really something.”

The fire, which is still under investigation, was called in at 9:54 p.m. on Friday by an alarm company and caused extensive damage to the attic, or third floor, roof, and surrounding areas. Officials contained the blaze within two hours, preventing it from spreading across the approximately 15,000-square-foot mansion.

Mr. Perelman, a known art collector, and his wife, Anna Chapman, were not at home, and the residence was unoccupied at the time of the fire, according to Josh Vlasto, Mr. Perelman’s spokesman. Mr. Perelman’s security staff was, however, on the property. According to Chief Tracey, the staff located the fire after the alarm was sounded and told first responders how to access the attic.

East Hampton Fire Department chiefs and East Hampton Village Police Detective Sergeant Greg Brown were among the first responding officers on the scene—arriving within four minutes of receiving the call. When they arrived the fire was burning through the roof in the back of the house.

After quickly assessing the situation, Jamal Hayes and Brian Stanis, the East Hampton Fire Department’s first and second assistant chiefs, called for assistance. Fire departments from Sag Harbor, Montauk, Amagansett, Bridgehampton, Southampton and Springs responded to the scene.

According to fire and police officials, fire hoses were spread across Montauk Highway, resulting in the highway being closed for several hours between Stephen Hands Path and Wainscott-Northwest Road.

Two aggressive interior attacks were attempted, but firefighters were ordered out of the building after a center portion of the roof collapsed, Det. Sgt. Brown said. Ladder trucks were then used to put out the flames, which were seen burning through the roof at around 11 p.m. “It’s pretty bad,” a foreman on the scene said at the time.

About an hour later, firefighters began locating and extinguishing hot spots on the floor of the attic.

The fire came nearly six years after fire officials were called to the property in 2012, when village officials became aware of illegal structures on the property. Since then, Mr. Perelman has attempted to bring the estate, which was previously owned by artist Alfonso Ossorio, into conformity with village code. Paramedics from East Hampton Village, Montauk and Sag Harbor volunteer ambulance companies were on the scene on Friday night and assessed firefighters for smoke and heat exposure. No injuries were reported, according to village police officials.

Det. Sgt. Brown said that the blaze was extinguished and brought under control by firefighters around midnight on Saturday. During a phone interview on Saturday morning he noted that the flames caused extensive damage to the attic and major smoke and water damage to the first and second floors.

“The attic was pretty much destroyed,” Chief Tracey said. He added that other parts of the house were not damaged.

The damage to Mr. Perelman’s extensive collection of art remained unknown on Tuesday morning.

Mr. Vlasto declined comment on the condition of the art collection. Det. Sgt. Brown said that first responders attempted to salvage all property, but also would not specifically comment on damage sustained by the art collection.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation; Det. Sgt. Brown said that it did not appear to be suspicious.

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I guess years and years of illegal work done with out permits or inspections really adds up.
By Preliator Lives (431), Obamavillie on Sep 29, 18 6:20 AM
My first thoughts were thankfully it appears no one was hurt.
Thanks to all the volunteer firefighters who turned out on a late Friday night after a long week working.
By deepchanel (87), Hampton Bays on Sep 29, 18 8:27 AM
Lol. Ron Perelman. He seems to be quite the catch with the ladies. What an upstanding citizen. lol
By Lets go mets (377), Southampton on Sep 29, 18 7:32 PM
Our prayers go out to the family in a very devastating time. We thank all our volunteer fireman for all there hard work.
By Mr.007 (4), Riverhead on Sep 30, 18 9:01 AM
Who's family? Perelman's? This is just one of many properties he owns and its doubtful they were emotionally impacted by this.
By Funbeer (272), Southampton on Oct 1, 18 4:38 AM
2 members liked this comment
What is the "update" on this story? The headline says "UPDATE: Fire At Creeks Estate In East Hampton Began In Attic" but the text under "Original Story" says "According to fire officials, the blaze originated in the attic at the main house."
By Rich Morey (372), East Hampton on Sep 30, 18 10:35 PM
Maybe they added a "period" or something; clickbait.
By Preliator Lives (431), Obamavillie on Oct 1, 18 6:53 AM
Thank you to all the fire departments called in to fight this fire regardless of unoccupied tenancy. My hat off to Chiefs Hayes and Stanis! Mary
By MelissaA (52), Sag Harbor on Oct 1, 18 4:26 PM
Well done first responders. We are proud of you.
By CPalmer (108), Southampton on Oct 2, 18 11:38 AM
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