A on Sheep Pasture Road in Port Jefferson had nervous residents calling police to make sure the black smoke and flashes of light weren’t toxic.
One resident who did not wish to be identified said that he called police Sunday night after seeing black smoke above woods lining the area around the facility asking if they should evacuate.
He said they did not have to leave the area.
Jennifer May, Special Projects Coordinator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said in an email to Patch on Monday that there were “no environmental impacts from the fire.”
“It was in an empty office building nowhere near where we are working,” she said.
May did confirm that the fire knocked out a transformer that powers the pump and treatment plant on the Lawrence Aviation site,
“The shutdown of the system will only cause a brief delay in the long-term cleanup and will have no immediate impact,” she said.
The said that the most likely cause of the fire was an electrical wiring issue in the abandoned office building on the facility but the final determination would be made by the fire marshal.
According to Fireman Dennis Whittam, a spokesperson for the –whose fire district the property lies within–the abandoned building used to be the office building of Lawrence Aviation Industries.
“The good thing is that it wasn’t in the industrial part of the property,” he said.
Eyewitness reports initially said that there were flashes and explosions on the site but Whittam could not confirm any explosions saying that there was a “pop from the electrical transformer.”
He called the fire “literally a ball of flame” saying that they couldn’t tell if there was even a second story on the building because there was “so much flame.”
On Aug. 17 went up in flames and in that case too Wittam said the building was “burned beyond recognition.” He speculated that the structure in that fire was a “shed or something” but couldn’t tell because of the extent of the damage.
He said that both structures involved in the fire were nearby each other on the property.
“It was in the area,” he said. “Very close to the same building.”
On Monday, firefighters returned to the property and with the help of a town-owned pay loader, they lifted up debris and wet it down to put out any smoldering fires.
According to Whittam, the fire started at about 10 p.m. on Sunday night and the “guys returned to the station at about 2:30 a.m.”
Six other surrounding fire departments were called to the scene to help fight the fire including Port Jefferson, Setauket, Mount Sinai, Miller Place, Selden and Coram.
The cause of the fire is currently under investigation by the Port Jefferson village Fire Marshal.