Violations issued after Maryland sisters die in Noyack vacation home fire, official says

Twenty-nine violations have been issued to each of the two owners of what Southampton Town officials say was an illegal vacation rental without working smoke detectors in Noyack where two Maryland sisters were killed in a fire earlier this month.

The husband and wife who owned the home, identified as Peter and Pamela Miller, were issued a total of 58 violations for multiple illegal alterations and renovations at the home and for not maintaining such safety measures as smoke or carbon monoxide detectors, Southampton Chief of Emergency Management Ryan Murphy said.

The Millers could not be reached for comment Saturday.

Fire officials said the blaze likely started at an outdoor kitchen, which spread to the rest of the house, where a family from Potomac, Maryland, was staying. Two sisters, Jillian and Lindsay Wiener, 21 and 19, were killed inside. Their parents and 23-year-old brother were able to escape, the brother by jumping out of a second-floor window.

“The outdoor kitchen is still the most likely origin of the fire,” Murphy said.

The violations were issued this week after town fire marshals and inspectors found smoke detectors disconnected or without batteries. Officials also found no carbon monoxide detectors and other plumbing and electrical violations, Murphy said.

“Several detectors had no backup batteries and … were not hardwired,” Murphy said. “Most of them were missing batteries and not plugged in.”

The violations issued by the town were not related to the deaths and are being heard in Southampton Town Justice Court, Murphy said. They range from violations to misdemeanors, he said.

The Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office is reviewing the case to decide whether to pursue additional charges, he said.

The owners lacked permits as a vacation rental and did not undergo a safety inspection before the fire, officials said. They also did not have a permit authorizing the outdoor kitchen.

First-time offenders who operate a rental without a permit face fines between $150 and $1,500, up to 15 days in jail, or both, according to the town code.

Correction: Southampton Chief of Emergency Management Ryan Murphy said the outdoor kitchen is the most likely “origin” of the fire. An earlier version of this story did not accurately quote him.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.