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Sag Harbor Rallies Together After Devastating Fire

Nicole Barylski

The iconic Sag Harbor Cinema was demolished due to safety concerns - although the neon Sag Harbor sign was salvaged. (Photo: Lisa Tamburini)

While many are still in shock over the Sag Harbor fire that destroyed five businesses and several apartments on Main Street, including the iconic Sag Harbor Cinema which had to be demolished due to safety concerns - although the neon Sag Harbor sign was salvaged, the community is already coming together to start the healing process.

On Wednesday, December 21st, Harbor Books (20 Main Street, Sag Harbor, 631-808-3401, www.harborbookssgh.com) will host a Night of Shopping to Benefit Sag Harbor.

"As everyone can imagine it is a very sad day in The Harbor. I want to start by saying how grateful we are to have such dedicated Fire Department Members, Police and Emergency Services," said Taylor Rose Berry, the owner of Harbor Books, in an email about the event. "Watching them work tirelessly in the freezing cold yesterday was devastating. The way the community embraced each other in such a sad moment is a reminder of how lucky we are to live in our own little slice of paradise."

The fire destroyed buildings that five businesses and several apartments were located in. (Photo: Lisa Tamburini)

From 6 to 9 p.m., stop by Harbor Books for a hot toddy, snacks, music, shopping and to share your favorite story about the Cinema, and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the rebuilding of the iconic theater as well as those who were affected by the fire.

A Crowdrise page has been created to support Fred Kumwenda, who lost everything - his clothing, his laptop, his beloved Takamine guitar, his home - in the fire. The fundraising effort has already raised over $30,000. To donate, visit www.crowdrise.com.

Michael Lynch, who had just moved in to the apartment above Compass Realty, also lost everything in the fire. You can support Michael by donating at www.crowdrise.com.

Tisha Collette, owner of Colette, and husband Shane Dyckman, owner of SagTown Coffee, were profoundly impacted by the fire. Unfortunately, both of the buildings where the Sag Harbor businesses were located in were devastated by the fire. They are no longer able to make payroll, but their employees have been working tirelessly to recover anything salvageable. You can donate to the Collette and SagTown Coffee families at www.crowdrise.com.

Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr., a lifelong Sag Harbor resident, has vowed to assist in any way possible.

"I am heartbroken by the damage this fire has caused to my historic Village and the loss it has created for so many residents. It is made worse by the proximity of this tragic event to the holidays," Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. said. "I have contacted the Village office and offered whatever resources my office and the State possess to assist the Village and affected residents in dealing with the aftermath of the fire."

Crews demolished the Cinema on Saturday. (Photo: Joe Strand)

"Specifically, in my role as chairman of the Assembly Small Business Committee, I have contacted Jim King, the Executive Director of the New York State Small Business Development Center (SBDC). The SBDC has an office at Stony Brook University. The Stony Brook Center will be contacting Mayor Schroeder directly," he noted. "We will pursue every available resource including the possibility of a disaster declaration to make resources available. I am also concerned about any Village resident who may be made homeless by this fire and providing them with the resources that they may need. We have contacted state housing officials to assist the Village."

He added, "My goal is to address any human impacts from this disaster and then take the steps needed to rebuild and preserve our historic main street. At a time that is supposed to be all about peace and joy, this disaster hits hard. I am confident that the village again will join together to meet the challenge and we will emerge stronger than ever."

Musician Billy Joel, who has a home in Sag Harbor, even took the time to say goodbye to the Sag Harbor Cinema during his concert at Madison Square Garden on Saturday. A concertgoer captured the moment, which can be seen here: www.youtube.com.

Nicole is the Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com where she focuses on lifestyle, nightlife, and mixology. She grew up in the Hamptons and currently resides in Water Mill. www.hamptons.com NicoleBarylski NicoleBarylski


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