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Probe of fire that destroyed Southampton Village home of real estate mogul continuing, officials say

A fire Saturday afternoon destroyed the $9 million

A fire Saturday afternoon destroyed the $9 million home of Lawrence and Marilyn Friedland on Wyandanch Lane in Southampton. A dozen fire departments from the area battled the fire which is believed to have started in the kitchen. This aerial photograph on Sunday, July 26, 2015, the morning after the fire, shows how the roof and upper floors collapsed during the blaze. Credit: Doug Kuntz

Fire officials said Sunday they are investigating a Southampton Village fire that destroyed the $9 million home of a real estate mogul whose clients include Polo Ralph Lauren, Donna Karan and Dolce & Gabbana.

The fast-moving blaze started shortly before 2:30 p.m. Saturday, likely in the kitchen of the two-story, six-bedroom, six-bathroom home at 50 Wyandanch Lane, said officials with the Southampton Fire Department. A family inside the home got out safely, officials said.

Firefighters inside the mansion fled as conditions worsened, First Assistant Fire Chief Christopher Brenner said Sunday.

"After collapses on the first floor, and the roof collapsed, they had to get out," Brenner said.

Two firefighters were treated for smoke inhalation at Southampton Hospital and released, he said. He added that the fire marshal will handle the investigation of the blaze inside the 8,340-square-foot home, whose property includes a pond and a swimming pool in the backyard.

It could take weeks or months before a cause is determined, Brenner said.

The listed owners are Lawrence and Marilyn Friedland.

Lawrence Friedland owns Manhattan-based Friedland Properties, which boasts on its website that it's the largest landlord on the pricey "Gold Coast of Madison Avenue" shopping area.

Other prominent tenants include Tom Ford, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Kate Spade and Valentino, according to the website.

Southampton Fire Chief Michael Kampf said when he arrived at the scene minutes after the fire broke out, all he could see was heavy smoke coming from the kitchen area.

"It just progressed further and further throughout the house," Kampf said Sunday. It was unknown if the Friedlands were inside, he said. They could not be reached for comment Sunday.

Brenner said that by 4 p.m. Saturday, the home was nearly destroyed "and there was heavy fire above the garage." He said there were two cars inside the attached garage. It was unknown if the cars were damaged.

Fire departments from Westhampton, Flanders, East Quogue, Hampton Bays, North Sea, Sag Harbor, Bridgehampton and East Hampton were called in to assist, officials said.

Caution tape warning, "Do not cross," was wrapped around the mansion Sunday. When asked if the structure, would be razed, Brenner said the fate of the building was unclear.

"That would be up to the insurance company and the homeowners themselves," Brenner said.

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