A large blaze broke out this morning in the popular LGBT-resort town of Cherry Grove Fire Island around 1:30 AM according to Suffolk County Fire officials. Many buildings in the commercial area around Holly Walk and Bayview Walk were affected with at least two buildings - the Holly House apartment complex and the Grove Hotel, home to the Miss Fire Island pageant - having been completely destroyed. Two private homes were also lost but the popular nightclub, The Ice Palace, attached to the Grove Hotel escaped serious damage.
Fortunately, no one had been occupying any of the buildings at the time of the fire. However, from the 18 fire departments that responded to the blaze, three firefighters suffered minor injuries.
An investigation into the cause of the fire, reminiscent of a 2011 blaze in The Pines Fire Island that claimed the Pavilion, is underway.