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Watch Hill Marina blaze on Fire Island under investigation

Investigators say they are trying to determine the cause of a fire that swept through a concession area and restaurant at the Watch Hill Marina on Fire Island early Wednesday, destroying both the building and adjacent deck area.

The superintendent for the Fire Island National Seashore, Alexcy Romero, said that all possible causes are being investigated, including arson. There were no reported injuries.

The fire was reported in a 911 call to Suffolk County police at 1:35 a.m., the caller reporting a kitchen fire at the restaurant, which includes a concession area and a main kitchen area. A subsequent caller reported the entire building was engulfed in flames, police said.

"We're thinking right now that's it's a total loss of the facility," Romero said. "Right now, we're just securing the area."

Firefighters from multiple departments battled the blaze.

Romero said that though the Labor Day weekend marks the unofficial end of summer, dozens of boaters and scores of campers still utilize the marina and nearby campground facilities during the post-summer shoulder season. The restaurant and concession are open daily but were closed at the time of the fire, Romero said.

He said that the general store, marina and campground were unaffected by the blaze but that the restaurant and concession were destroyed.

Romero said that in addition to a Suffolk police canine team and Suffolk fire investigators, the National Park Service was sending its Serious Accident Investigation Team to investigate the cause of the blaze.

As part of that probe, Romero said investigators would be conducting interviews with staff, as well as people in the marina and people in the campground.

The fire departments that fought the blaze included Davis Park, Ocean Bay Park, Ocean Beach, Fire Island Pines, Patchogue, Hagerman, Saltaire, North Patchogue and Blue Point. Fire officials said Bayport and Cherry Grove were standing by if needed.

It is estimated that the building, which was a wooden structure, as well as the adjacent deck area made up a facility of about 5,500 square feet.

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