Iconic Sag Harbor theater destroyed when fire tears through storefronts

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Saturday, December 17, 2016
Fire destroys iconic storefronts in Sag Harbor
NJ Burkett has more from Sag Harbor.

SAG HARBOR, Long Island (WABC) -- A fire that is believed to have started above SagTown Coffee spread to seven other Sag Harbor businesses, including an art gallery and an iconic theater that dates back to the 1930s.

The Sag Harbor Cinema, a Main Street mainstay since it was built in the 1930s, was also destroyed in the fire.

A fire broke out on Main Street in Sag Harbor, sending at least six buildings up in flames.

A total of eight businesses were damaged. In addition, residents from four apartments above the businesses have been displaced.

The fire, which was reported just after 6 a.m. Friday and is believed to have started in a second-floor apartment above the storefronts, was under control by noon. There were no reported injuries.

Roughly 300 firefighters from at least nine different fire departments responded, battling icy conditions in addition to the flames.

Eyewitness News reporter N.J. Burkett was at the scene:

The theater, which had been put up for sale earlier this year for $14 million, was the biggest casualty of the fire. Firefighters who grew up going to the cinema and whose parents went as children themselves struggled to save it, but it was just not possible.

"The wind and weather conditions, being so cold and everything icing up, made it a lot harder," Sag Harbor Assistant Fire Chief Bruce Schiavoni said. "The wind spread the fire a lot quicker. The icy conditions just made it harder to maneuver."

The building was demolished Friday night.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.