A small building housing a packing-out operation for commercial fishing boats at the East Hampton Town Dock in Montauk was gutted by fire early Friday morning.
According to East Hampton Town Police, the fire was called in at 3:02 a.m. by William Carmen of East Hampton and Tyler Weiss of Montauk, who were preparing for work. The Montauk Fire Department extinguished the fire and the tenant, Paul Farnham of East Hampton, notified the owner of the building, Chip Duryea of Montauk. Mr. Farnham reportedly said he’d left the building at 9 p.m. the night before. Mr. Farnham, Mr. Carmen, Mr. Weiss and Anthony Sosinski of Montauk, who was checking on his boat nearby, reportedly told police that they did not see anyone in the area.
“No one was hurt and that’s most important,” said Mr. Farnham’s wife, Mary Stedman Farnham, on Friday. “Who knows how extensive it could have been. It could have gone everywhere down the dock.”
East Hampton Town Chief Fire Marshal David Browne said much the same thing. It was very windy, and the fire could have spread to the north toward Gosman’s Dock, he said. “The Montauk guys made a great stop,” Mr. Browne said of Montauk Fire Department volunteers who responded.
The packing-out building is “pretty well gutted,” Mr. Browne said, with the dock side suffering the worst damage. The cause of the fire was still undetermined, but he said that a diesel fuel pump at the dock and fish cartons made of waxed cardboard probably helped fuel it. The fuel pump was mechanical, not electrical, so there was “no source of ignition” at that point, he said.
The Montauk Fire Department could not be reached for further details.