Riverhead firefighters extinguished an overnight fire at the CubeSmart self-storage facility on Mill Road, Dec. 15.

Update: Dec. 16, 6:15 a.m. – Police have charged a 60-year-old homeless man with arson in this incident. See story.

An overnight fire damaged multiple storage units at the CubeSmart self-storage facility on Mill Road in Riverhead.

Riverhead Fire Department responded to the 1:49 a.m. alarm and extinguished the fire. Firefighters were working at the scene for two to three hours, RFD Chief Bill Kelly said.

There was fire in five units one of the five large metal storage units on the site, located just north of the railroad crossing and adjacent to the Glenwood community, Kelly said. Fire gutted one of the units throughout.

When firefighters arrived at the scene, they saw smoke coming out of the overhead door on one of the units, Kelly said. “It was a tough one,” he said. “The ceilings of the individual units are not closed In. The building’s metal roof is channeled. So there’s smoke throughout,” he said. It was hard to determine where active fires were burning, the chief said. “And with these units, there’s always a lot of stuff inside, behind closed doors. So you never know what you’re walking into.”

Kelly said 50 to 55 Riverhead volunteer firefighters responded to the call, with two engines and two ladder trucks.

The Riverhead Police Department Detective Division, the Riverhead Fire Marshal’s Office and the Suffolk County Police Arson Squad were called to the scene to investigate the cause of the fire.

The CubeSmart self-storage facility on Mill Road in Riverhead. Photo: Peter Blasl

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Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.