Fair Haven car dealership goes up in flames
By Lucia Suarez
STAFF WRITER | March 19,2013
Lucia Suarez / STAFF PHOTO
Investigators look through a heavily damaged garage Monday at Ed Davis Autos on Washington Street in Fair Haven following a fire at the dealership late Sunday night.
FAIR HAVEN — Firefighters from three towns fought a fire that engulfed Ed Davis Autos late Sunday night for more than five hours. Large pieces of burned metal are the only remnants of the car dealership that once stood in its place Monday afternoon.
Fair Haven Fire Chief David Ward said the call came in around 9:20 p.m. Sunday. When they arrived at the Washington Street location, the business’s three-bay garage was engulfed, he said.
Moments after firefighters arrived on scene, the building’s roof collapsed. Ward said they were taking out hoses and nobody was inside the building at the time.
“It was a stubborn fire,” he said. “Once it got into the roof rafters, it dried up quickly and fell. They were just two-by-fours tacked together.”
Josh Davis, the business owner’s son, said they were called to the dealership around 10 p.m. Sunday night to find the building in flames.
“It’s sad,” he said while looking at the building’s ruins. “Everything we worked 10 years for is gone.”
Ward said fighting the fire was difficult because of five cars and tires inside the building. A sixth mechanics truck parked next to the building was also destroyed.
“We had five car fires within the building that we needed to fight,” the chief said. “There was a lot of fuel.”
Ward said the service garage was destroyed and the sales side of the building sustained intense heat and water damage. He said the owners were able to save some records and keys before they were damaged.
“The tin building is like an oven,” Ward said.
Davis said once everything has settled down and all the paperwork is completed, his family will rebuild. His father has owned the dealership and auto service center for 10 years this month.
“It was beautiful in there,” Davis said.
The fire scene was cleared around 2:30 a.m. Monday.
Ward said by the afternoon Monday the cause of the fire was undetermined, but fire investigators were called in.
The firefighters from the towns of Fair Haven, Poultney and Castleton responded to the scene while the fire department from Whitehall, N.Y., was stationed at the Fair Haven fire station.