Firefighters quickly snuffed out a fire at a waterfront house in Southampton that may have started with a charcoal grill early Monday morning.
A neighbor across Cross Spring Pond spotted flames at 50 Cold Spring Point Road, located on a peninsula between the pond and the Peconic Bay, near Sebonack Golf Club. The Southampton Fire Department received the 911 call at 5:15 a.m. No one was home at the time.
The fire appeared to have started on the back deck and was climbing up the side of the house, Chief Anthony Stevens said. Photographs show an exterior wall on the shingled house engulfed in flames.
“It went up in the wall to soffits and got into the kitchen,” Stevens said. “The guys made a great stop,” from spreading further and destroying the whole house, he said.
Southampton Fire Department was assisted by Hampton Bays Fire Department’s rapid intervention team and an engine from the North Sea Fire Department.
The culprit may be a charcoal barbecue grill, according to Chris Hansen, a Southampton Town fire marshal who is investigating the cause. It has not officially been determined.
A mechanism, like an ash catcher, on the portable grill may have deteriorated earlier, allowing ashes to drop down to the decking material that smoldered overnight. The occupants of the house left Sunday evening around 8 p.m.
“Charcoal will stay hot for quite some time,” Hansen said. “People don’t realize how long it will hold heat.”