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Long IslandSuffolk

Fire breaks out at Sayville seafood restaurant, police say

A malfunctioning gas stove caused a kitchen fire at a Sayville seafood restaurant Sunday afternoon, authorities said, causing extensive damage to the eatery.

Three Holbrook firefighters were treated and released at a hospital for minor injuries sustained while trying to contain flames and heavy smoke from the fire at Popei’s Clam Bar on Raft Avenue, Holbrook Fire Chief Chris Heinssen said.

No patrons were in the restaurant when the fire broke out at about 12:52 p.m., and about seven workers escaped without any injuries, authorities said.

“The fire started in the kitchen, extended up through the walls and through the roof,” said Heinssen. “They did suffer extensive damage from water and smoke.”

The blaze, which apparently began when the workers were preparing food and one of the burners on a gas stove “shot a direct flame on the wall,” was brought under control after about an hour, said Heinssen. The fire was confined to the kitchen area of Popei’s, he said.

Firefighters from Holbrook, as well as Sayville, Bohemia and Bayport responded to the fire. Sayville Community Ambulance responded to the scene, and the Holtsville and North Patchogue fire departments provided mutual aid to Holbrook as its members battled the blaze.

The Suffolk fire marshal is investigating and officials from Islip Town’s building department were on the scene, Heinssen said.

Suffolk police’s arson squad was called to the scene of the fire, which is customary, police said.

No one answered the phone at the restaurant Sunday afternoon. 9

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