Fire damages Cherry Grove hotel

by Michael K. Lavers

National News Editor

Tuesday September 22, 2009

A fire damaged more than a dozen rooms of a Cherry Grove hotel early Tuesday morning.

The blaze broke out inside a housekeeping shed along the north side of the two story Grove Hotel around 2 a.m. Firefighters from Cherry Grove, the Fire Island Pines, Point O' Woods, Ocean Bay Park, Ocean Beach, Saltaire and Sayville responded to the scene.

The four people inside the hotel evacuated safely, but Ocean Beach firefighter Ian Levine said the thick smoke made it difficult to find the fire's source.

"The smoke ran through the entire building," he said.

Grove Hotel manager Ramn Pea-Sierra further described the scene.

"The north end of the hotel is completely burned down," he said.

A second fire broke out in a trash can on Gerard Walk shortly before the blaze erupted at the Grove Hotel. There is nothing to indicate two incidents are connected. Pea-Sierra said the fire, which caused smoke and other damage to 18 rooms, broke out less than a week before the Grove Hotel was slated to close for the season.

"We have all winter to rebuild," he said. "At least it didn't happen in the middle of the summer."

Log onto EDGE for further details as they become available.

Based in Washington, D.C., Michael K. Lavers has appeared in the New York Times, BBC, WNYC, Huffington Post, Village Voice, Advocate and other mainstream and LGBT media outlets. He is an unapologetic political junkie who thoroughly enjoys living inside the Beltway.