Little remains of the home Buster Davis built with his own two hands.
Joey Davis arrived at the 100 Owen Davis Drive home in South Rawdon on May 12 to find his grandfather, Buster, sitting in his vehicle, watching flames tear through what remained of his three-story home.
“The two top floors were just a blaze by the time they got there,” Joey recalled.
“I saw my grandfather build that house around 30 years ago, so it was kind of emotional. A lot of our family was there.”
He says the Brooklyn Fire Department appeared to be gaining ground on the afternoon fire a couple of times but the inferno capitalized on an opportunity to spread when the first pumper truck on the scene ran out of water.
“They had control of it a couple times — this was flames shooting way up in the air — they had it died down and then they ran out of water,” he said.
Departments from Windsor, Rawdon, Summerville and Mount Uniacke responded to calls for mutual aid, but Buster’s son, Sam Davis, was the first on the scene.
Sam, a mechanic who operates an auto repair shop across the street from his father’s home, was called that afternoon when a homecare worker living with Buster was unable to suppress a fire that started on the stove, he told the Journal.
“I went flying out of here,” he said.
“By the time I got the hose hooked up and got out to the house it was too late; it was coming out the front and going up the roof.”
The fire gutted the home, but firefighters were able to extinguish the flames before all of the personal belongings stowed in the basement were destroyed.
All that remains of the house Buster, a man in his mid-80s, built in 1981 is a deck, the front facing stonewall that led to the basement and the foundation.
Buster said he was unable to talk about the fire when invited to do so in a phone interview.
Brooklyn Fire Chief Mark Dearman could not be reached for comment despite several calls to the fire station and his cellphone.