Fire at Shelter Island's historic Belle Crest Inn

An alert motorist stopped and pulled two people to safety from inside a burning century-old Shelter Rock inn Wednesday night after first noticing flames shooting out a third-story attic, officials said.

The two people inside the Belle Crest Inn and the motorist who rescued them were not identified last night.

Officials with the Shelter Island Police Department said the fire broke out at about 9:30 p.m. at the inn, located at 163 N. Ferry Rd. The fire was eventually brought under control. It was likely started by accident inside a brick and mortar chimney at the inn and quickly engulfed the building’s third-story attic, officials said. After seeing the flames, the motorist stopped and got the attention of two people inside and then entered the burning building, guiding the pair to safety.


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None of the three were injured but a firefighter responding sustained minor burns and was transported to Eastern Long Island Hospital for treatment, officials said.

The inn’s website says, "This grand old Victorian inn was built as a guesthouse in the early 1900s and today has a European ambience." The rooms are furnished with antiques and collectibles, according to the website, and is located "steps from the historic Heights village."

A Shelter Island resident said during the winter, the inn is usually occupied only by the two resident owners.

The Shelter Island Fire Department was assisted by the Sag Harbor and Greenport fire departments, according to fire officials.

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