Smoke detectors were missing or inoperable and extension cords were used in lieu of permanent wiring. Lights dangled from live electrical wires and carbon monoxide detectors were missing. Combustible debris that included old mattresses and cardboard boxes cluttered the basement.
Those were some — but not all — of the 61 alleged fire and building code violations uncovered by the East Hampton Town Fire Marshal’s office during a recent investigation of the Inn at East Hampton, a 20-room motel at 490 Montauk Highway that was previously known as 27 Inn, and before that, the Dutch Motel.
Chief Fire Marshal David Browne said in a June 17 release that his office responded to an initial complaint of overcrowding at the inn that had proved unfounded. But in a subsequent probe, he said, it was determined the property was at its capacity limit and that there were dozens of outstanding violations of the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code.
“These violations created serious life-safety hazards and fire hazards,” Mr. Browne said. “Our first and foremost priority is the safety of the tenants and ensuring the swift remediation of these hazardous conditions.”
Hamptons Land Corporation, the Floral Park-based company that owns the motel, is due in East Hampton Justice Court on July 11 to answer the charges.
“We’re working very closely with the fire marshal’s office to resolve these issues, and we expect to be 100% complaint before we go to court on July 11,” said Jason Gutterman, who has been the inn’s manager since last year.
He said there was “nothing life-threatening” about the code issues — for instance, he said he has to replace 11 light fixtures, which he noted are listed as 11 separate violations — and that he welcomed the spotlight as he made the necessary repairs.
Formerly an inn for transient guests, the property now houses only long-term residents who rent their rooms on a month-by-month or year-to-year basis, Mr. Gutterman said.
- reporting by Douglas Feiden