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Sag Harbor Cinema fire drew the community together

Credit: Kidsday illustration / Angely Chaves

The village of Sag Harbor is not only rich in history but is also on fire with heroism, kindness and community spirit.

One example began on the morning of Dec. 16, 2016, when the famous Sag Harbor movie theater caught fire. News reports said that fire officials believe the blaze began at a coffee shop and then spread to other buildings. The fire spread quickly, and by the time the fire department was called at 6 a.m., the fire was already beginning to spread to nearby buildings.

It was a bitterly cold day. TV and newspaper reports showed the firefighters’ gear and fire engines covered with ice from the wind blowing the spray from the fire hoses. More than 150 firefighters from the nearby towns of Bridgehampton, East Hampton, Southampton and others all pitched in. In between shifts, the firefighters returned to the local firehouse to rest and warm up. They worked the fire for two days.

News reports said community members were also on standby throughout the fire. Supplies such as thermal hand and feet warmers, dry socks, food, water and sandwiches poured in day and night. Nearby restaurants kept their ovens going to feed the firefighters.

Although the theater and stores were damaged by the fire, not one person was injured. The heroic effort of the firefighters along with the unwavering support of the Sag Harbor community are to be congratulated. A new Sag Harbor Cinema is currently under construction.

Eileen Caulfield and Tara O’Malley’s sixth-grade class, Pierson Middle School, Sag Harbor

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