An automatic fire alarm may have saved a law office from total destruction on Wednesday morning.
The Southampton Fire Department chiefs were called to investigate an alarm that was sounding at law office, above Corwin's Jewelers at 61 Main Street in the village, at 8:17 a.m., according to Second Assistant Chief Chris Brenner. When he and Chief Dennis Roy went up the stairs towards the office, they were met with smoke up half-way up, Brenner said.
They exited the building to don their firefighting gear and call for firefighters. A general response alarm went out at 8:22 a.m.
"After the first engine arrived, firefighters made forceful entry and found a small fire on top of a desk," Brenner said. "They quickly extinguished it and were back in service within the hour."
There was no structural damage to the office, or the rest of the building, though there was some smoke damage. Firefighters used fans to clear smoke from the office.
The office was not occupied at the time, and no one was hurt.
Southampton Village Fire Marshal Dean McNamara is investigating the cause of the fire. He was not immediately available for comment.
Brenner said the automatic fire alarm saved the building from further damage. "Who knows how long it would have been before someone noticed. People don't usually go to work until 9 or 10. It saved the guy's office," he said.
Brenner said he didn't know the name of the law office.
Records indicate there are two law offices in the building; Robinson & Robinson and Michael P. Malone's office. There was no answer at Robinson & Robinson, and an answering service at Malone's office.