By Danny Schrafel
For the fifth time in six months, a commercial building in Huntington village has been damaged by fire. But this time, police believe it was intentional.
Suffolk County PD Arson Squad detectives have classified a smoky blaze, which damaged an office building at 30 Prospect St. in Huntington village Saturday afternoon, as arson, a police spokeswoman confirmed Tuesday.
Police and fire officials said the blaze began in a storage container behind the Waldorf Risk Management building at 3:45 p.m., which was unoccupied at the time of the fire, and then spread to the main building. It also spread into the soffit/overhang and the attic, culminating with flames shooting out of the cupola.
A smoky smell wafted as far away as Wall Street and the intersection of Stewart and New York Avenues, others said.
“There was a lot of fire – a lot of smoke,” said Huntington FD Chief Robert Berry, who led the response. He said he recalled seeing file cabinets in the storage unit, but couldn’t recall what else was inside.
A crew, which was already in the firehouse and about to provide standby coverage for another department, rushed to the scene. They contained the fire to the attic area and had it under control within an hour, officials said. The rest of the building sustained smoke and water damage. No injuries were reported, according to fire officials.
More than 50 firefighters using six trucks battled the blaze. Halesite and Huntington Manor Fire Departments aided the Huntington Fire Department at the scene, while Cold Spring Harbor department volunteers provided standby coverage at Huntington’s firehouse. Suffolk Fire-Rescue Coordinators were on the scene assisting in the response.
Berry and Deputy Chiefs Robert Conroy and Brian Keane coordinated the response.
No arrests have been made, police officials said Wednesday. Anyone with information can call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-220-8477 (TIPS).
Saturday’s blaze marked the fifth fire in Huntington village since March 1, when an office building located at 425 New York Ave. was gutted by fire, forcing several adjacent businesses to close as well. On May 8, a commercial building which housed Osaka sushi restaurant was destroyed by fire, and the next came on May 17, at Black & Blue Seafood Chophouse. Most recently, on Aug. 3, apartments located behind Café Buenos Aires and Dunkin Donuts on Wall Street were damaged in an early-morning fire.
Overall, the Prospect Street incident is the 11th working fire that the Huntington Fire Department has handled this year, fire officials said.