The owner of the Thatched Cottage catering hall was the man who doused himself and his vehicle with gasoline in a Huntington parking lot Tuesday -- one day before his business was auctioned off, an emergency rescue official confirmed.
Ralph Colamussi was found unconscious and taken to Huntington Hospital by the Huntington Community First Aid Squad, said Dominic Heavey, second deputy chief for the ambulance company.
"He was the man who tried to commit suicide," Heavey said Wednesday.
Colamussi was in stable condition Tuesday evening at Huntington Hospital, spokeswoman Julie Robinson Tingue said. It wasn't immediately clear if he had been discharged Wednesday. Attempts to reach him were unsuccessful.
The bankrupt Thatched Cottage in Centerport, also a popular wedding venue, was auctioned off Wednesday for $4.65 million to Suzan Tina Properties, which owns The Sterling banquet hall in Bethpage.
Colamussi had owned the 21,000-square-foot catering property for 26 years. He blamed some of his financial woes on flood damage from Tropical Storm Irene and superstorm Sandy. He borrowed about $3 million for repairs, and his debt became insurmountable when combined with the $630,000 he owes in state sales taxes.
He was found about 10:30 a.m. Tuesday in the parking lot by the Thai USA restaurant after a 911 caller reported a gas leak, authorities said.
Colamussi apparently planned to set himself and his van on fire, but was overcome by fumes and lost consciousness, said Huntington fire chief Robert Berry.
Robinson Tingue said Colamussi smelled strongly of fuel when he arrived at the hospital, and the fire department had to come in and dissipate the fumes with large fans.