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Officials: Blaze destroys club, hotel in Cherry Grove

Firefighters battle a fire in the Cherry Grove

Firefighters battle a fire in the Cherry Grove community of Fire Island on Friday, March 27, 2015. The famed Grove Hotel, an apartment complex and two unoccupied homes were destroyed, and the Ice Palace bar and three other homes were damaged in the early morning fire, fire officials later said. Photo Credit: Stringer News Service

A massive early morning fire destroyed two Fire Island landmarks -- the Ice Palace bar and the Holly House Hotel -- on Friday, with two firefighters being transported to mainland hospitals with minor injuries.

Suffolk County police and fire officials said firefighters from at least a dozen departments responded to the scene in Cherry Grove, where officials said the fire remained active at 6:30 a.m. Fire officials said replacement crews were being sought.

Several homes also were destroyed, officials said.

Along with the two landmarks and homes in the Fire Island community long known for its gay scene, the fire also damaged the boardwalk, officials said.

The blaze was reported at 1:27 a.m., officials said.

Firefighters from Cherry Grove, The Pines, Ocean Bay Park, Ocean Beach, Sayville, West Sayville, Holbrook, Islip, North Patchogue, Patchogue, Bellport and Hagerman.

Police called the damage "extensive" and said the cause of the blaze will be investigated by Arson Squad detectives.

One of the injured firefighters was transported to Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center in East Patchogue, the other to Stony Brook University Hospital. Their department affiliations were not immediately known. Their injuries -- and conditions -- also were not immediately known Friday.

Cherry Grove has long been a destination for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender vacationers. Its storied Ice Palace has been a major hub of summer activity, with DJ-driven parties mixed in with a calendar of nightly drag performances.

Holly House is described as more affordable than other Cherry Grove hotels by the website, which called it "summer camp."


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