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May 1, 2016 8:34 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

UPDATE: Schmidt's Market In Southampton Sustains Significant Damage From Sunday Night Fire

A fire at Schmidt's Market on North Sea Road on Sunday night severely damaged the basement of the store, charring the cross beams separating the basement from the first floor. GREG WEHNER GREG WEHNER
May 2, 2016 4:05 PM

UPDATE: MONDAY 3:45 p.m.

The owner of Schmidt’s Market on North Sea Road is optimistic that he will be able to open the store by the beginning of summer.

The damage is primarily downstairs, but on the northwest corner of the store the floor has been burned through and the cross beams separating the basement from the first floor are charred. As for the upstairs, it reeks of smoke.

Unfortunately for Mr. Schmidt and his team of 25-30 people, they will not be able to clear the store until the insurance adjuster comes by on Tuesday.

Mr. Schmidt said the store will not open for at least a couple of weeks, but the wholesale portion of the business should be able to continue as early as this week because the warehouse did not sustain any damage, according to Mr. Schmidt.

UPDATE: MONDAY 10:00 a.m.

The Southampton Village Fire Department responded to a fire at Schmidt's Market on North Sea Road in Southampton Village on Sunday night.

Southampton Village Fire Chief Mike Kampf entered Schmidt’s after responding to an automatic fire alarm, and found smoke shortly after 7:23 p.m. After exiting the building, Chief Kampf called the fire in as a structure fire.

Southampton Assistant Fire Chief Chris Brenner said fire departments from Hampton Bays, North Sea, Sag Harbor and Bridgehampton were called in to assist with the fire.

By 9 p.m., Chief Kampf and the fire crews had the fire under control, although they worked until just after 1 a.m. to put out any remaining hot spots.

“The guys and girls did a good job knocking down the fire,” Chief Brenner said. “If it wasn’t for the quick actions of the guys and girls that arrived, we could have lost the store.”

Chief Brenner said the fire was primarily contained to the basement, and no visible flame was seen on the first floor. He said the basement sustained major damage.

“It’s very hard to see such a great business in the village sustain great damage like that,” Chief Brenner said. “They’re great to the community and the fire department, and it’s tough to see them go through this.”

Shortly after the fire, owner Dennis Schmidt went to Facebook and posted, “Thank you to to Southampton FD, North Sea Fd, Hampton Bays Fd, Sag Harbor Fd, Southampton Village Ambulance.”

It is not known if the produce store will be open for business today or in the near future.

Attempts to reach Mr. Schmidt were not immediately returned.


The Southampton Fire Department is responding to a call at Schmidt's Market on North Sea Road in Southampton Village.

Assistant Fire Chief Chris Brenner was not immediately available for comment.

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By bigfresh (4666), north sea on May 2, 16 6:22 AM
NOOOOOOO!! Please tell me the salad bar is OK...
By tranquility1985 (25), Hampton Bays on May 2, 16 11:41 AM
2 members liked this comment
I was thinking the same thing...
By Spelling Cop (22), Southampton on May 2, 16 11:46 AM
There is this little store down the street... Maybe you have heard of it ? Citarellas ... They have salad
By joe hampton (3461), Hamptons on May 2, 16 10:20 PM
Yes, and new items like the fire roasted peppers and tomatoes.
By VOS (1241), WHB on May 3, 16 1:44 AM
Oh, no! So sorry to hear of this. Hope no one was injured and the market can be restored ASAP!
By metsfan2 (163), southampton on May 2, 16 12:06 PM
1 member liked this comment
So sorry to hear this, at the start of their busy season, I buy lunch there 2-3x a week for the last 25 years having worked in the village that long, the employees are wonderful, hope they're up and back to business soon! Loyal customer for life.
By Bond007 (22), Hampton Bays on May 2, 16 1:18 PM
2 members liked this comment
Schmidt's is a success story because of the family running it. Any small business knows that adversity happens, and this unfortunate incident will be handled, with Schmidt's coming back stronger and more successful.

Godspeed Dennis---hurry up and open!!
By mexicokid (21), brooklyn on May 2, 16 2:26 PM
this is bad news to hear about but i am sure it will have a good ending

everyone needs to go to Schmidts in North Sea, no only for the great egg sandwiches & coffee, but to show their support!!!
By coxie1 (37), southampton on May 2, 16 6:48 PM
Dennis - I am sorry to hear about the fire and the damage that it did to your store. I hope you are up and running in no time at all. Schmidts is a staple in Southampton and will sorely be missed as you are renovating, Can't wait for you to reopen!! Wishing you all the best ~
By pvalk6 (32), Southampton on May 2, 16 8:59 PM
Best of luck with the repairs
By joe hampton (3461), Hamptons on May 2, 16 10:21 PM
Another customer for life wishing a speedy re-opening!!
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on May 3, 16 6:35 AM
1 member liked this comment
As promised years ago, never been to local Citarella and will never go. Schmidt's, Catena's, Golden Pear are fine. Casual suggestion to go to Citarella is offensive IMO . . .

Happy to wait for this fine establishment to re-open, and to patronize other local firms.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on May 3, 16 12:39 PM
Agree! Oh, and Sean's Place.
By metsfan2 (163), southampton on May 3, 16 12:40 PM
2 members liked this comment
Yes indeed, thanks for correcting the omission. Cromers too when going to or from Sag Harbor.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on May 3, 16 1:14 PM
Same old hipster crowd with the same visceral reaction to anything new , Schmidt’s is fine, but please stop pretending Cit. is the root of all evil. Why because it is shinny, well stocked and a bit pricey?

I don't make millions, but I am very happy to shop there for the quality and variety ... just grow up already will ya.
By 27dan (2854), Shinnecock Hills on May 3, 16 2:14 PM
1 member liked this comment
Hey PBR, last time I checked Schmidt's has 3 different locations/businesses on the East End. Citarella's has 3 different locations on the East End.

What's the difference? They both support the same number of local residents and carry food from local producers.

You're peeved because Citarella has a handful of markets in the city too? How many locations before a business becomes an evil "chain"?

I hope you don't visit Goldberg's Famous - they have over a dozen locations! ...more
By Nature (2966), Southampton on May 3, 16 2:41 PM
Please name the local charities that Citeralla contributes to? Why was their holiday donation campaign not for the food pantries on the East End but rather for a city charity?
It is not how many businesses that is the issue, but are our local dollars reinvested in our local community?
By metsfan2 (163), southampton on May 3, 16 3:01 PM
Go Mark Goldberg! That is an example of a hard working old school entrepreneur, Don't ever apologize mark your not an evil capitalist just smarter and more ambitious than most. Your the Man and your family and community are proud of what YOU built!
May 3, 16 5:18 PM appended by 27dan
stop laughing Amanda
By 27dan (2854), Shinnecock Hills on May 3, 16 5:18 PM
1 member liked this comment
For the record, I have asked Citarella for donations for a local organization and they contributed food - a lot of food. So, I think it's unfair to paint them with this incorrect brush.
By concerned east ender (49), Sag Harbor on May 10, 16 3:28 PM
@metsfan: I have asked and received donations from Citarella for a local organization. They responded immediately with a donation of food: lots of food. So, lets not blindly accuse/judge without knowing the facts.
By concerned east ender (49), Sag Harbor on May 10, 16 3:31 PM
So glad the the locals support our local businesses!
May you have a speedy recovery, Dennis!
By Hamptonsseashell (359), on May 3, 16 1:46 PM
A beloved, local family business sustains a terrible fire right before the season and all Tranquility1985 wants to know is if "the salad bar is OK".
By elliot (254), sag harbor on May 4, 16 3:38 PM
SO glad no one was injured.....as soon as you are open I'll be back!!!
By sandydog21 (195), Southampton on May 5, 16 7:10 AM
Terrible timing.

Remember last May the fire at World Pie?

Hope they open soon
By aging hipster (201), Southampton on May 5, 16 7:16 AM
This is another example of when bad things happen to good people. The Schmidt's are great and caring people. They will come back bigger and better than ever. World Pie has.
By bobalooey (45), East Quogue on May 5, 16 1:29 PM
I'm sorry to hear about this fire, but very glad that no one was injured. I will miss Schmidts while it is getting back on its feet. Looking forward to the re-opening! In the meantime I will be frequenting the Schmidts Seafood Market further north on North Sea Rd. Good luck Dennis and crew!!!
By Long Island Viking (28), Southampton on May 5, 16 11:43 PM
1 member liked this comment
Support our local markets and say no to the Tuckahoe mall!
By TheTurtle (143), Southampton on May 7, 16 6:38 AM
2 members liked this comment