Hamptons rental where fire killed 2 skipped safety inspection

Cause of fatal incident still under investigation

Hamptons rental where fire killed 2
(Illustration by The Real Deal with Getty Images)

Details are beginning to emerge about the Hamptons rental property where two sisters were killed in a house fire this week.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation, but an official with the Town of Southampton said Wednesday there was no valid rental permit on file for the home in Noyack, Newsday reported. There were permit applications on file for work at the home in recent years, though.

Town rental permit applications come with either a safety inspection from the town or a licensed professional contracted by the homeowners. It’s not clear who owns the home, but they had no known connection to the family staying on the property.

“Unfortunately, in this instance there was no safety inspection, there was no rental inspection and none of those things occurred because there was never an application submitted for this to be a rental,” said Ryan Murphy, Southampton’s director of code compliance and emergency management administrator. “What occurred here was a tragedy.”

The cause of the fire is believed to be non-criminal, police said based on initial evidence. It’s not clear if the homeowners could face consequences for not complying with the town’s rental registry.

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The fire in Wednesday’s early morning hours killed Jillian Wiener, 21, and Lindsay Wiener, 19. When personnel arrived on the scene after being called at 3:35 am, the house was already fully engulfed in flames. Officials said the sisters were found unresponsive and were later pronounced dead at a hospital.

The three surviving members had already made it out of the house when the fire department arrived on scene. The fire department initially struggled to reach the two women, repelled by the heat of the fire.

Local officials have said there were smoke detectors in the home, but an investigation was ongoing as to whether or not those were in working order on the night of the fire.

Lewis Wiener, 60, Alisa Wiener, 52, and their son Zachary, 23, managed to escape the home and were treated at an area hospital for non-life-threatening injuries. Police said the family was vacationing in the Hamptons from their home in Potomac, Maryland.

— Holden Walter-Warner