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Brookhaven Cat Hospital

The former home of Brookhaven Cat Hospital is being renovated after an Oct. 7 fire destroyed the interior. Photo by Rita J. Egan

Three months after a fire engulfed one of the buildings that makes up the Setauket Commons former tenants are embarking on new paths.

Business were forced to close after a fire ripped through 60 Route 25A in Setauket, the night of Oct. 7. The fire took more than two hours to control, according to Setauket Fire Department, leaving smoke and water damage in its wake.

Veterinarian Dr. Anthony Nanton, owner of Brookhaven Cat Hospital, has been working at Paumanok Veterinary Hospital in Patchogue since the end of November. The Stony Brook resident said when he arrived on the scene Oct. 7 smoke was pouring out of the building. It’s still difficult for him to talk about that night.

“It was quite traumatic,” he said.

Nanton said three resident cats died in the fire from what appeared to be smoke inhalation. The animal hospital was the felines’ home since 2003 when it was located in Coram.

“They were like my children,” the veterinarian said.

While Nanton will now work out of Patchogue, Anne McLaughlin, president of Hayes Physical Therapy, said she and her staff will remain in Setauket. The business has operated out of the Setauket Commons since 2004 and McLaughlin bought the company in 2009.

Since the fire, McLaughlin has made house calls when she can and referred patients to her colleagues in the surrounding area.

McLaughlin said she signed a new lease Jan. 11, and Hayes Physical Therapy will be moving to the same shopping center as Mario’s Italian Restaurant — Heritage Corners East — in the storefront of the former music store. She is hoping to reopen within the next couple of weeks.

“There was no question that I was going to stay in the Three Village area,” she said. “It was just a matter of finding a suitable location.”

The employees of Advanced Research Media, which had an office in the building for 2 1/2 years, are now working remotely from their homes, according to the company’s vice president Elyse Blechman. The owners of Healing Massage could not be reached by this publication’s press time.

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Firefighters battle a fire at Brookhaven Cat Hospital Oct. 7. Photo by Dennis Whittam

By Bob O’Rourk

The Setauket Fire Department tackled a challenging rescue Oct. 5, and just two days later, fought a significant fire during the evening of Oct. 7.

Setauket firefighters rescue a driver from a dump truck that crashed into a large tree on Pond Path. Photo by Bob O’Rourk

On Oct. 5 at 2:08 p.m., the department was called to rescue the driver of a dump truck that crashed into a large tree on Pond Path near Robert Crescent in Setauket, crushing the side of the driver compartment and pinning the motorist under the dash. Both of the fire department’s heavy rescue crews combined to finally release the victim after an hour of work to free his legs from the steering column and dashboard, which had collapsed into him.

With the truck lodged firmly against a 12-inch diameter tree, and the driver’s legs pinned, medical attention was given while he was in the cab and continued until he was freed. He was alert throughout most of the hour he was pinned in the truck.

The truck and driver were part of a crew of contractors, operating for PSEG, who were clearing the power lines along a private driveway that extends from Pond Path for more than 300 feet. The newly paved driveway has some sharp falloffs in several areas. One of those drop-offs apparently caused the truck to veer into two robust trees.

The fire department responded with two heavy rescue trucks and a pumper as well as numerous medical personnel and an ambulance. During the time the driver was pinned, he received a number of injections to relieve pain. Once he was freed, he was transported to Stony Brook University Hospital for further medical care.

Suffolk County Police Department Emergency Service also responded and aided with hydraulic tools to supplement those used by Setauket Fire Department personnel.

Firefighters battle a fire at Brookhaven Cat Hospital Oct. 7. Photo by Dennis Whittam

On Oct. 7 at 7:28 p.m., the department was called to a fire at the Brookhaven Cat Hospital at 60 Route 25A in Setauket. The fire was significant and inside a building with many rooms. Two other businesses also occupied the building.

The fire was reported via an automatic alarm. The first responders noticed significant smoke coming from the building and called in the signal for an actual fire which evoked mutual aid from Stony Brook, Port Jefferson, Centereach, Terryville, St James and Selden fire departments, as well as Stony Brook Volunteer Ambulance Corps, Nesconset and Port Jefferson ambulances.

Heavy fire was encountered upon entry to the building. It took firefighters more than two hours to bring the fire under control. There was significant damage to the roof as well as the interior spaces. The SCPD Arson Squad and Town of Brookhaven fire marshal were called to determine the cause, which at this point is still under investigation.

The fire was contained to the cat hospital areas in the building. According to the business owner, three cats were inside. Two were found deceased, and the third one is unaccounted for at this time. One firefighter suffered a minor injury from heat exhaustion and was transported to a local hospital.

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