Fire Island | New York | News

Fire Destroys Two Homes Overnight in Fire Island Pines


(photographs by Karen Boss for Towleroad, more AFTER THE JUMP...)

Late last night, I began hearing that homes at  Fire Island Pines were ablaze near Bay and Holly walks. For those of you not familiar with Fire Island Pines, it, along with the town of Cherry Grove, are popular gay and lesbian summer destinations for New Yorkers. Fire Island is a barrier island off the south coast of Long Island not accessible to automobiles.

Fip2 A report from Newsday on the fires:

"The fire broke out at about 10 p.m., said Ed Tully, deputy chief fire coordinator of Suffolk County's Department of Fire, Rescue & Emergency Services. Tully said the homes at 244 and 245 Baywalk were destroyed and the blaze was still smoldering early Thursday. No injuries were reported in the fire, Tully said."

The Great River Fire Department (and likely other Long Island units across Great South Bay) were called into action. — according to one firefighter's Twitter.

I have heard that one of the homes was currently under construction and that the fire was started by the explosion of a propane tank. Fortunately, the wind last night was blowing toward the bay, otherwise many more homes might have been lost. I'm sorry for those who lost their property in this accident. And thankfully nobody was hurt

More images, AFTER THE JUMP...




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  1. Trying to picture what houses these are. Looks like they're a few places past Reflections.

    Posted by: jon | May 21, 2009 9:09:24 AM

  2. Those Twitter updates are surprising trivial and superfluous.

    Posted by: paul c | May 21, 2009 9:44:30 AM

  3. With stories like these... could you please give us a sense of what city... country... continent we're dealing with?

    I know this may seem obvious to anyone who lives there, but you do have a world-wide readership who has no idea where Fire Island is... or which one (there must be a million of them)

    Posted by: zed | May 21, 2009 10:02:58 AM

  4. Oh, Zed. "Fire Island Pines." Maybe put it in Google, if you're confused. Or you know: United States' second-oldest gay community?

    Posted by: Choire | May 21, 2009 10:16:48 AM

  5. Sorry Zed, apologies. Made some clarifications to the post.

    Posted by: andy | May 21, 2009 10:21:05 AM

  6. Virus Island is more like it

    Posted by: Marcus | May 21, 2009 10:42:28 AM

  7. "Virus Island is more like it"

    Oh, SNAP! .....oh wait, no.

    Posted by: b mac | May 21, 2009 10:48:09 AM

  8. damn, I walked by those houses several times last weekend. My house is on the bay about 5 minutes from those houses.

    Posted by: Alex | May 21, 2009 10:50:37 AM

  9. I understand that's a gay community, but really...the vast majority of your readership doesn't care if two homes burnt down.

    Posted by: Bale | May 21, 2009 11:19:23 AM

  10. I love you choire

    Posted by: JORY | May 21, 2009 11:21:18 AM

  11. New York's five borough population is approximately 8,310,212. For Those of us who live here and take on summer shares out on Long Island it is a much bigger deal. Gay, Straight or Lesbian - when your summer vacation spot is affected by a fire, storm, act of God or whatever - it's upsetting. If your neighbors house burned down would you not have or show any compassion?

    Posted by: Zeek | May 21, 2009 11:40:03 AM

  12. As sad as this was to read, it was nice to read that The Great River Fire Dept (my home town, and am now residing in San Francisco) was called into action....

    Posted by: Johnny | May 21, 2009 11:49:51 AM

  13. whether you know of fire or island or not isnt the issue here. i read posts all the time about europe, spain and what not on here and i dont live there. dont be aholes, the whole village could have burnt down and people could have died. grow a heart.

    Posted by: mr.magoo | May 21, 2009 11:52:32 AM

  14. Agreed - anyone who has ever lived or vacationed on Fire Island knows how dangerous one fire can be to the whole community. Thanks for reporting on this!

    Posted by: mr. Kristofer | May 21, 2009 12:36:54 PM

  15. At the end of the day Andy lives in Fire Island and Andy thought this was an interesting story - and Towleroad is Andy's blog.

    That's the only meaningful measure of what "should" be in Towleroad.

    Posted by: Alan | May 21, 2009 12:51:05 PM

  16. It's kind of hard to get too worked up about someone losing their extra home when there are some people that don't have basic shelter needs met.

    people first, then money, then things ;)

    Posted by: Matt | May 21, 2009 1:12:10 PM

  17. I would love to see the impact on interpersonal relationships that the anonymity of “commenting” on blogs has had. It’s really easy to be bold, crass and downright rude when your anonymity is preserved. What would happen if you were just sitting across the table from all these people looking them in the eye? Would you be as outspoken?

    Posted by: Phillip | May 21, 2009 1:29:30 PM

  18. screw you, Matt. it may be an "extra home" but this town and it's community are a vital part of the New York gay world. Fire out there is really dangerous as the island is very inaccessible and if the wind were wrong the whole town could have been wiped out.

    extra or no people have put hard earned money into these homes and it is sad to lose one. I know I could not afford this kind of loss right now!

    why don't you get off your proletarian high horse. I agree there are a lot of big problems in this world but when someone in my community experiences a loss I am glad to be told of it so I can show my support.

    Posted by: IAN | May 21, 2009 1:31:44 PM

  19. Damn, the bitterness on here is disturbing and selfish. If you don't understand why this is a story worth posting, educate yourself or STFU. 2 homes destroyed by fire anywhere obviously affects many people. 2 homes in a tiny community that is extremely vulnerable to fire is big. Add the fact that it's one of the only almost exclusively gay communities in the world and is at the beginning of it's high season and Towleroad would be remiss not to post. Get a life, sheesh.

    Posted by: Aron | May 21, 2009 1:31:58 PM

  20. well said Aron...and for the bitterinas who don't get it-- visit Fire Island and then you will understand. And Marcus-- you don't deserve to be gay.

    Posted by: drew | May 21, 2009 3:04:33 PM

  21. Some of you bitchy bitter homos really need to get a fucking clue.Many of you who blatantly stated your ignorant lunatics who probably trash on New York (city) all the time.Ive been to Fire Island twice to hear my fav DJ at the Ice Palace (DJ Peter Rauhofer) Its actually a small confined area but alot happens there and there are alot of gays who spend vacation time there.It is pretty hard to access the Island,I believe the only access to the island is by ferry.Considering how small it is a fire in one spot can be dangerous.But I always overlook how ignorant and uneducated some of the readers of this blog are (atleast til I read some of the filthy comments here)

    Posted by: PISSED OFF gay Automotive Enthusiast | May 21, 2009 9:18:20 PM

  22. That really should read

    Many of you who blatantly stated your ignorant comments probably are the same lunatics who trash on New York (city) all the time.

    Always have to proof read

    Posted by: PISSED OFF gay Automotive Enthusiast | May 21, 2009 9:20:48 PM

  23. For those who don't know anything about Fire Island and it's history, there is beautiful documentary called When Ocean Meets Sky (2003) anyone who has the LOGO channel can possible catch it. or go to or buy it. Features men & women gay and straight who live(d) there from the earliest years of development. And stories of devastating fires over the years come up.

    I've never been there but a home burning still troubles me, no matter where it is. As many have said already this is a piece of (gay/queer) history.

    Posted by: TylerAnthony | May 22, 2009 9:37:28 AM

  24. Who cares ?

    I live in Cambridge MA which is pretty darn gay.

    But then rich white gay pretty boymen think they and their playgrounds are special. They sure do get upset if you say otherwise.


    Burn Baby Burn

    Next up --- rare Red Maple tree dies in back yard of old rich gay man. Boo hoo.

    As for Gay History --- this is a vacation party house --- and since I have never been invited to this EXCLUSIVE (meaning to EXCLUDE) let me repeat BURN BABY BURN

    Posted by: Ralph | May 22, 2009 2:33:12 PM

  25. This is Andy's blog for sure.

    Rich white party boy is in his blood and bank account.

    Posted by: Ralph | May 22, 2009 2:39:15 PM

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