Update: Police Chief Says Cause of Fire Not Determined

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Firefighters at the door of the Sag Harbor Cinema on Friday morning. Michael Heller photo

On Tuesday morning, following reports that a cigarette caused a fire on Friday that damaged several buildings on Main Street in Sag Harbor, village police chief Austin McGuire said that while that is one potential cause of the blaze, investigators have not ruled out other causes and will likely not have a formal report until after the New Year.

On Monday night, Mayor Sandra Schroeder revealed investigators did believe a cigarette could have caused the fire, which destroyed the front portion of the iconic Sag Harbor Cinema, as well as the neighboring Meridian building, which was being demolished yesterday and today. Three other buildings suffered significant damage in the fire, which begin early Friday morning.

“They believe it was probably from a cigarette,” she said. “They found nothing suspicious.”

However, on Tuesday morning, Chief McGuire said the county arson squad and East Hampton fire marshal are only in agreement that the fire was not criminal in nature, and that its cause remains undetermined.

“One of the causes that is being investigated is cigrettes – but every option is being examined at this point,” said Chief McGuire. “We do know it started outside the building. With a fire of this enormity, and how complicated the investigation is, it may take a little longer than usual to determine the cause.”

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