Welcome Spring Pig Roast Ends with Fire in North Sea

The Knights of Vesuvius had a basement fire
The Knights of Vesuvius had a basement fire, Photo: Lucie Zrnova, picsfive, Janniwet Wangkiri/123RF

The Knights of Vesuvius’s annual Welcome Spring Pig Roast turned into a nightmare this year when organizers tried to move the event indoors due to the inclement weather. Nobody was seriously hurt (except for the pig), but emergency personnel were called to the scene, and a police investigation is underway.

Problems apparently began when event organizers, citing the ongoing cold temperatures, decided to set up a charcoal fire pit in the basement of the Knights of Vesuvius clubhouse in North Sea.

“Usually this time of year, you can count on it having warmed up some,” Hamptons Police spokesman Larry Hirsch says. “In past years, the Knights have hosted their Welcome Spring Pig Roast on the lawn of the clubhouse. People around here love it—it can get a little nippy, but you can always warm your hands over the pig.”

But as this year’s event approached and temperatures showed no signs of budging from the freezing mark, the Knights made the ill-fated decision to move into the basement.

“Naturally, there were some problems,” spokesman Hirsch noted drily, and clearly using understatement to get his point across.

According to witnesses, none of whom wished to accept responsibility for the debacle, the clubhouse basement filled with noxious smoke within minutes of the charcoal fire being lit under the pig. Contrary to conventional roasting methods, the pig had already been set up on the rotisserie.

In the ensuing panic, as coughing Vesuvians scrambled towards the stairs, blinded by the acrid smoke, somebody, not yet identified, stumbled and knocked the pig into the flames—where it promptly caught fire. When firefighters arrived, blue-black smoke was billowing from all the clubhouse windows.

“Luckily, the response was quick and the fire was confined to the basement,” Hirsch said. “Unluckily, there wasn’t much left of the pig.”

Police are continuing to investigate the incident.

Read more tales from the Hamptons Police Blotter