A retired scientist from Brookhaven National Laboratory was killed in...

A retired scientist from Brookhaven National Laboratory was killed in a fire at his home on Rolling Hill Road in Hampton Bays on Sunday. Credit: John Roca

A man was killed and his sister hospitalized after an electrical fire spread through their Hampton Bays residence on Sunday, according to police.

At about 9:55 p.m., Southampton Town police responded to a report of a possible electrical fire on Rolling Hill Road, where they found resident Karilyn Konesky, 67, had escaped “heavy smoke and fire” coming from the residence. Her brother, Gregory Konesky, 70, was still inside and had to be pulled from the home by firefighters.

He was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead, police said. Karilyn Konesky was taken to a hospital to be evaluated.

Lynn Konesky, 76, the older sister of Karilyn and Gregory, said she is in a “complete state of shock” since learning about the fatal fire.

“This is unbelievable to me,” she said, speaking from her Brooklyn apartment. 

Konesky was a retired scientist who was a visiting researcher at Brookhaven National Laboratory's Center for Functional Nanomaterials since 2008.

He also served as president and co-founder of his Hampton Bays research company National Nanotech Inc. 

Brookhaven's Center for Functional Nanomaterials is one of five Nanoscale Science Research Centers in the country funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

The research center focuses on creating and exploring the properties of materials with dimensions spanning just billionths of a meter. Research includes improving solar cells and other electronic nanomaterials, designing more efficient catalysts, and developing new capabilities and uses for electron microscopy, according to Brookhaven Lab officials.

Konesky had published a series of research papers during his career on topics such as ion bombardment, spreading the thermal footprint of semiconductor lasers and decontamination using a cold plasma applicator, officials said.

Dmytro Nykypanchuk, a scientist at the research center who had worked with Konesky over the years, described his former colleague as one of the facility's "most positive and enthusiastic researchers … and at the same time very meticulous."

Lynn Konesky described her sister as a “world traveler” who displayed her prized wildlife photos of polar bears and pandas in the Hampton Bays home.

“We are beside ourselves,” she said.

Firefighters from Hampton Bays, Southampton Village and East Quogue were assisted by first responders from the Hampton Bays and Southampton Village ambulance services.

The cause of the fire was under investigation. 

With John Asbury

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