By Kathryn G. Menu
A psychological evaluation has been ordered for former Sag Harbor resident David Osiecki, after the 54-year-old was charged with arson in connection with a fire that seven fire departments battled at an oceanfront residence in Bridgehampton last weekend.
Mr. Osiecki, who police said is a Sagaponack resident, was arrested on Saturday by Southampton Town Police and charged with arson in the third degree, a class C felony, after a fire caused heavy damage to a house on Dune Road in Bridgehampton. He was also charged with arson in the fifth degree, a class A misdemeanor, for his alleged involvement in a brush fire set Friday on Hayground Road.
At his arraignment on Monday morning, Southampton Town Justice Andrea Schiavoni ordered a psychological evaluation to determine whether Mr. Osiecki was fit to stand trial at the request of his attorney, Brian DeSesa of the Sag Harbor law firm Edward Burke Jr. & Associates.
“He does have a history of mental illness, which is well documented,” said Mr. DeSesa of his client in an interview on Wednesday morning. Mr. DeSesa noted that Mr. Osiecki had been hospitalized in a psychiatric facility. The evaluation should be completed in two weeks time, he said. If he were found to be competent, criminal proceedings would continue. Otherwise, Mr. Osiecki will be placed in a facility for treatment, said Mr. DeSesa.
On Monday, Mr. Oseicki was send to Suffolk County Jail in Riverside in lieu of $500,000 bail. His next court date is scheduled for May 15.
According to police, the house fire, at 187 Dune Road, was called into police at 5:49 a.m. Saturday. The Bridgehampton Fire Department called in help from the Amagansett, East Hampton, Sag Harbor, North Sea, Southampton and Hampton Bays fire departments.
The blaze was declared suspicious by Southampton Town Police Detectives, and the Suffolk County Arson Squad was brought to the scene to investigate the fire’s cause.
“We believe the fire started in a grill area under a pergola,” said Bridgehampton Fire Department Chief Gary Horsburgh, although the chief added the fire is still under investigation.
Chief Horsburgh said fighting the fire caused a significant amount of water damage on the east side of the residence, which, according to town records, is owned by a Helene Feldman. In 2011, the five-bedroom, five-bath oceanfront home was listed for sale for $34 million.
Chief Horsburgh added firefighters had to battle the blaze inside walls and in the ceiling.
“It was a hard fire to fight,” he said.
According to Chief Horsburgh one volunteer from East Hampton was overheated during the blaze, but that there were no other injuries.