Several Fire Island landmarks have been destroyed.
Around 1:30 a.m. Friday morning, flames broke out in the Cherry Grove community of the popular summer resort destination. Over a dozen fire departments responded to the blaze.
Officials say many structures, including the famed Grove Hotel, the Ice Palace, and the Holly House, were all destroyed by the inferno, which affected “the entire downtown business district” near Holly Walk and Bayview Walk.
The Ice Palace nightclub, in particular, is a Fire Island institution. In addition to being a popular venue for circuit parties, its stage has hosted some of the biggest gay icons in the business including Liza Minnelli, Carol Channing, Lady Gaga, Chita Rivera, John Waters and Justin Vivian Bond.
Two private dwellings also burned down in last night’s fire, and three others were damaged. Thankfully, none of the buildings were occupied at the time.
The fire burned well past sunrise. Three firefighters suffered minor injuries while fighting the blaze.
This is the second time in recent years that parts of Fire Island have erupted into flames. In 2011, popular night clubs the Pavilion and the Sip ‘N Twirl were both destroyed in a fire that illuminated the eastern horizon for hours.
The cause of last night’s blaze is still under investigation.