Fire led to the displacement of more than 40 residents at an assisted living facility in Riverhead Thursday night, forcing the relocation of residents with assistance from the American Red Cross of Long Island, Riverhead Town police said.
Police said the fire at the Concern for Independent Living resident home at 260 W. Main St. was reported in a 911 call received at 6:16 p.m. and said responding officers found both fire alarms and sprinkler systems activated, with "heavy smoke and water flooding the first and second floors of the building."
Officers evacuated residents from the building and then located the source of the fire, which police said was a sofa chair in a residential room on the second floor. That fire was extinguished by firefighters from the Riverhead Fire Department, police said.
While Riverhead Volunteer Ambulance crews and the Red Cross were able to assist residents outside the building, Riverhead Town fire marshals, investigators from the Riverhead Police Detective Division and Suffolk County Police Arson Unit detectives determined that, due to what police described as heavy water and smoke damage, the property "was deemed unlivable presently."
It was not immediately clear when residents will be allowed to return to the property.
Police said investigators are looking at cigarette smoking as the likely cause of the fire, but that the cause is still under investigation.
Investigators are asking anyone with information to contact them at 631-727-4500.
With Craig Schneider