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Fire damages nonhistoric building at Sagamore Hill National Site

Merchandise in gift shop burns; no injuries reported.

Oyster Bay Assistant Fire Chief Vincent Bellissimo discussed a fire that gutted a nonhistoric building and destroyed items in the gift shop at the Sagamore Hill National Historic Site in Oyster Bay on Monday. (Credit: Newsday / Jesse Coburn)

A fire broke out at the Sagamore Hill National Historic Site in Oyster Bay on Monday morning, gutting a nonhistoric building and burning merchandise in its gift shop.

Volunteers with the Oyster Bay, Syosset, Bayville, East Norwich and other fire departments responded to the call, which came in shortly before 9 a.m. The blaze, which appeared to start in a "boiler area inside the bathrooms," was extinguished within an hour, Oyster Bay Assistant Fire Chief Vincent Bellissimo said.

“There was heavy smoke coming from the roof of the building and some fire coming from some plumbing vents,” said Bellisssimo, who was one of the first firefighters to arrive.

No one was in the building, and no injuries were reported. 

Insulation hung loose from the ceilings and debris lay outside shattered windows following the fire. No historic structures were damaged, said the site's museum curator, Susan Sarna.

Sagamore Hill was the home of President Theodore Roosevelt from 1885 until his death in 1919. The grounds of the surrounding park are open during the federal government shutdown, but there are no visitor services, according to the park’s website.

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