Blaze Destroys Pavilion, Other Structures at Fire Island Pines

(images courtesy jordan cohen)

Here are the smoking remains of the Pavilion complex and several other buildings which burned last night starting about 9:15 pm.


Michael Lavers at Fire Island News:

A fast moving fire destroyed the Pavilion and at least two other structures in the Fire Island Pines commercial district late on Monday, Nov. 14.

Initial reports indicate the blaze broke out around 9:15 p.m. It quickly engulfed the Pavilion, C.F. LaFountaine, Sip N' Twirl, the Pines Bistro and a bay front home. Walter Boss of the Fire Island Pines Fire Department confirmed to The News around 11:20 p.m. that the fire destroyed the Pavilion, La Fountaine, the Sip N' Twirl complex that includes the Bistro and a bay front home. Businesses north of the Pavilion along the harbor appear to have been unscathed.

Dozens of firefighters from the Pines, Ocean Bay Park, Davis Park, Point O' Woods, Cherry Grove, Ocean Beach, Fair Harbor, Saltaire, Kismet, East Islip, West Islip, Hagerman, Sayville, Bellport, Great River and Bay Shore responded. There are no reported injuries.

Last night:


The Pavilion complex on Fire Island Pines was hit by a major fire this evening.

News12 Long Island: "At least 19 fire departments have responded to a large fire that broke out this evening on a large dock structure in Fire Island Pines. Officials say that the fire broke out at 36 Fire Island Blvd. at around 9:15 p.m. According to fire officials, there are multiple dwellings on the dock structure. Police say there were no immediate reports of injuries…"

There are no details as to what may have started the fire…


(image via Fire Island Pines historical preservation society on FB)


  1. Tom says

    What ever will these Chelsea boys do next year :( 5 gay men were burned in the past 2 weeks & its get no coverage not even from the gay community yet Fire Island burns everyone freaks out.

    Thanks to the genius who built an entire island of wood

  2. says

    Lordy… I hope everyone is okay there… I was there in August for the first time… I hope the damage is contained and they can salvage as much as possible… Yikes… thoughts are with all those there…

  3. flip says

    Honestly, the place sucked any way..filled snobby west side city boy creeps taking over the island in summer..they still have their half of the meat rack to pump themselves o death.

  4. says

    @ FLIP & TOM – If you give Fire Island a chance – it is SO SO much more than your snide little comments – it is HOME to a LOT of people and has a certain kind of magic that is not found ANYWHERE else – the Pines is MAGIC!!! and yes, there are muscle queens and stuck up queens AND there are a LOT more people who are there for the love of having a COMMUNITY that is OURS; LGBT and we own it as such.

    To everyone else – no one was injured tonight and the local firefighters teamed up to ensure the safety of the homes and what they could of the businesses. Most importantly, no one was hurt – let’s be grateful this didn’t happen in August when we could have lost a lot of amazing human beings!!!


  5. Eric Sawyer says

    The latest from the scene is that more than 100 firemen from LI and four from the pines are on site – the second floors from both the La Fountain bldng (where sip and twirl is) and the second floor of the Pavilion are badly burnt and likely gone and still on fire but largely contained. The stores between the Pavilion and the Hotel were badly burned and have massive water damage and are likely a total loss. One house on the East side of the Harbor near the Freight Dock also burned badly and likely a total lose. No injuries so far.

  6. Larry Hillwig says

    well said Erin
    I used to be intimidated by “THE PINES”
    my partner and I have been going out for pretty much the whole summer for the past 7 years. We RARELY go out to the bars.
    We do don’t, however, disdain those who enjoy the hell out of it.

    It is a Barrier Island – so there can’t really BE much more than WOODEN buildings, (snotty comment from someone who no idea what he’s talking about)

    The REAL danger of a fire – IT CAN SPREAD

    Before there were Fire Fighters in the communities, when there was a fire, a bucket brigade would try to stop it before sparks flew – and houses quite far away would catch fire – this I heard from an elderly lady who was part of it

    Edna St. Vincent Milay wrote a lovely poem about the ferry trip over to Fire Island

    Breakfast at Tiffany’s was supposed to have been written there

    There are Heterosexual Families that not only tolerate the gay community – they SUPPORT US!

    There is a unique nature preserve which has, I THINK, the only double dune system, (Sunken Forest), with one of the only salt water marshes.

    If you have never been there – get your butts out, if even for the day

    You’ll be sorry to have been so heartless in your publicly unwarranted comments.

    WE HAVEN’T even been to the NEW Pavilion.
    And now I regret it.
    You don’t need 8 angora sweaters to join in the fun.
    It’s a beautifully unique treasure and I’ll kick yer ass if I hear it in public.

  7. says

    it’s to be expected that this news will elicit sneers from the Miserable Unfortunates who forever feel left out of the party and pathetically take joy in hearing about a fire at a place that they have such disdain for simply out of jealousy.

    i’d read about fire island for years, in the works of Ethan Mordden and Edmund White. an adolescence dreaming of one day being able to experience it for myself, The Magic of the Pines.
    I went for the first time last summer and it was, in all honesty, one of the most emotional experiences of my life. To be in that magical place where so many stories had been told – the history, the people who came before, a place to escape from a world that can be so trying.
    I truly pity the miserable existence of anyone who takes an ounce of spiteful joy out of this incident. how sad your lives must be.

    taking joy in this fire won’t make your own lives better, nor will it hurt the lives or tarnish the memories of those of us who have wonderful memories and times on Fire Island. it’ll just continue to hurt you. you’re drinking poison and waiting for it to kill everyone else. you’re only hurting yourselves. keep it up.

    for everyone else, don’t worry – it’ll be back as good as new.

  8. Kim M says

    The Pines is a beautiful place with FABULOUS visitors and home owners. This was my first season working over there and I can’t wait for next season. Great job to all who helped put out fires. Thankful
    no-one was hurt and looking forward to helping rebuild in any way I can.

  9. GlennZ says

    So sad and even sadder that people are making snide comments about other people’s loss and tragedy. GROW UP! NO ONE should have to suffer a loss like this and NO ONE should find humor or mirth in it. These were people’s lively hoods and it is a GREAT PLACE to escape to from the city. PLEASE, Hold back the catty / snide comments – it’s not very becoming of our community! My heart, thoughts and prayers go out to PJ (owner of Sip and Twirl) and the owners of The Pavilion.

  10. Rick says

    So sorry to hear this news. My ex used to take me there with our golden retrievers & we so enjoyed our time on that beautiful sand bar. We ate at the bistro quite often & Patrick always made us feel welcome & what a grest resteraunt! It was one of my most favorite places to eat. This is a huge loss to the owners & to those of us that truly enjoyed the beauty & magic of the Pines. I hope they can rebuild quickly. Patrick & PJ sorry for such a great loss. Today is a sad day for all of us who frequented your restaurant & bar. I know my ex, our friends & I had some wonderful times there.



  12. Russ says

    I’m so sorry for Flip’s own sad life since he was unable or unwilling to enjoy the Pines for what it is. It is ANYTHING you want it to be!
    From forever solitary walks on pristine beaches to meals with new lifetime friends. Parties and fun when you want them everywhere in a comfortable LGTB setting sprinkled with very welcoming and embracing heterosexuals.
    While some of the posts have been eloquent and just plain terrific… the truth is that the magic, spirit and essence of the Pines is too special to put into words. It is lost on some but, treasured by most who are lucky enough to experience it.
    I’ve been going for 14 years, fell in love with it the first season and am still in love with the Pines now!
    Get the Permits and start rebuilding !! They will be open by May :)

  13. Papa says

    I used to go early in the mornings (when I could get out there.) and sit on the deck and read, study and draw. It was very quiet and peaceful and no one hassled you. I’m looking forward to many more days out there just resting. It’s a reprieve from city living.

    My heart goes out to any injured and bravo for those that pitched in (firefighters and all) who put their lives at risk to stop it from doing more damage. Support the community.

    -Good Thoughts-

  14. Delia Farrell says

    Our VOLUNTEER firefighters do and awsome, unpaid and under-appreciated job, putting their lives on the line and their families on hold (while everyone else is lounging on the beach) to train for such catastrophic events and they are all to be commended for an obviously well done job in containing this fire.

  15. Brian says

    Lets not forget that we are a community.This fire is a symbol of what is happening to us.We need to come together rebuild the Pines and then maybe the United States of America.

  16. dawn says

    The Pines is one of the most magical places on Earth.. and I am a straight, 55 year old woman who grew up in the Pines with my gay brother and all his beautiful friends. It was like being a Princess and having all these gorgeous men around all the time.. who treated you with such love and respect and so much fun!! The best times of my life were spent right there!! Cannot wait to see what they build there and thank Goodness no none was hurt!

  17. Jack says

    The first of many summers in the Pines was the summer of 1975. My lover (long since deceased) and I lived in a beautiful A-frame house on Fisherman’s Walk (wonder if it is still standing?) The Pines was a magical fairy tale world unto itself, where caftans billowed along the walks after tea dance, and where rusty red Radio Flyers, then the only things on wheels, screeched with their own sadness as they conveyed our belongings down to the dock for our trip back to reality. Those were the days, my friend. We thought they would never end. But they did. And now it is your time. For those who take perverse joy over the fiery tragedy, you are dead inside, and unlike the Pavilion, can never be ressurected.

  18. Island Properties says

    My great and deep appreciation to the FIRE ISLAND PINES VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPT who risked their lives to save our community on Monday night while they were waiting for the ferries to bring in additional firefighters. Our volunteer fire dept was still working through today, that is almost 48 hours since this fire began. Never has Fire Island ever seen such a fire. The buildings will be rebuilt, no one was hurt, and once again, we protect our own, we are a family in Fire Island Pines, a YEAR ROUND family that people may not understand when they come for the 4th of July or a party week, but we are a community that lives and some of us work , all year long in the Pines, we stick together and we are a proud community who welcomes everyone. It would take more than Hurricane Irene or this enormous fire to shake us….

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