By Stephen J. Kotz
An early morning house fire claimed the life of a Sagaponack man on Saturday.
James Beres, 71 died in the fire along with his pet dog, according to a press released issued by Southampton Town Police. A second occupant of the house, whom police did not identify, escaped with minor injuries.
The fire completed gutted the house at 198 Narrow Lane in Sagaponack across the road from the Wolffer Estate Stables horse farm.
Police said they received a call shortly before 6 a.m. reporting the blaze. By the time firefighters arrived, it was completely engulfed in flames. The Bridgehampton, Sag Harbor, Southampton and East Hampton fire departments responded. Ambulance personnel from Bridgehampton and Sag Harbor also responded.
By Saturday afternoon, the property was cordoned off with signs posted by the Southampton Town Fire Marshal’s office warning that the structure was unsafe.
Police said town detectives, the fire marshal as well as the Suffolk County Police Arson Squad, Crime Scene unit and county Medical Examiners were investigating the fire to determine its cause.