Investigation underway into fire that destroyed Jamesport potato barn Saturday night

A potato barn along Main Road in Jamesport was destroyed by a quick-moving fire Saturday night.

The fire at 1795 Main Road was first reported around 9 p.m., according to Jamesport Fire Department chief Duffy Griffiths, who arrived at the scene moments later along with officers from the Riverhead Town Police Department.

“Flames were shooting out [the back of the building,]” Mr. Griffiths said in an interview Sunday afternoon. “You could tell the building was about to go up. Before the first [firetruck] got there, the roof started to collapse.”

More than two dozen volunteers from Jamesport Fire Department responded to the scene and were aided by firefighters from Mattituck Fire Department and Riverhead Fire Department, who were initially called to stand by at the Jamesport firehouse but moved to the scene. “We knew the roof was going,” Mr. Griffiths said.

Flanders Fire Department was also called to stand by.

Riverhead’s pumper truck was able to provide a water supply to a ladder truck from Mattituck, Mr.  Griffiths said, allowing the crews to essentially “drown” the fire with water from above.

Once the roof collapsed, “everything went up,” Mr.  Griffiths said, noting that the barn was unoccupied but housed several vehicles, farm equipment and small propane tanks.

Firefighters got the flames under control and were clearing the site by midnight, Mr. Griffiths said. 

Riverhead Volunteer Ambulance Corps responded to the scene and two firefighters were examined for minor injuries, but did not require transport to the hospital, Mr. Griffiths said. 

The fire department responded back to the scene around 7 a.m. Sunday morning to extinguish smoldering flames. “We were hitting the last three hot spots,” Mr. Griffiths explained.

He added that the barn is a “total loss” and the cause is still under investigation by the Riverhead fire marshal.