An early morning fire left a Setauket barn destroyed Monday, June 19. The barn, which was more than 300 years old, was located on the property that once belonged to a family with deep roots in the village.
At 4:33 a.m. the Setauket Fire Department responded to the scene at Ada Lane off Route 25A in Setauket. Larry Hall, the department’s public information officer, said firefighters on the scene encountered a fully involved fire of the 30-by-30-foot structure that was used for storage.
In addition to the Setauket Fire Department, the Port Jefferson, Stony Brook and Terryville fire departments were also on the scene to assist in distinguishing the fire, which burned for approximately two and a half hours. The Selden Fire Department and the Stony Brook Volunteer Ambulance Corps were on standby at the Setauket headquarters.
Hall said one of the main concerns was a neighbor’s house, which is situated approximately 40 feet from the barn, because plastic on the home was beginning to melt. However, the fire did not spread to adjacent properties.
According to Brookhaven town historian Barbara Russell, the barn is on the same property of the home known as the Micah Jayne House in the Three Village area. The land belonged to the Jayne family for generations. The family can trace its roots back to one of the first settlers in Setauket, William Jayne, a native of Bristol, England, who immigrated to the United States in the 17th century. The property was also the site of the Lade Brae nursery for years.
Russell said 20 years ago she toured the barn with an architect historian who said the barn appeared as if it was built between 1680 and 1720, and he called it a unique structure. One of the distinguishing features of the barn was hand-hewn braces.
“It had elements of both Dutch barn construction and English barn construction,” Russell said.
The historian said while the structure of the barn remained the same through the centuries, a previous owner approximately 20 years ago re-shingled the roof and added board-and-batten siding.
No firefighters were injured while fighting the fire. The Suffolk County arson squad and Town of Brookhaven fire marshal have been notified for further investigation, and the town will demolish the remnants of the barn.
Russell said she feels sorry for the family that currently owns the property as well as the local community.
“We have lost a piece of our very early history and, unfortunately, it’s not replaceable,” Russell said.