This Thanksgiving, the Davis Family gave thanks to the Southern Shores Volunteer Fire Department and surrounding fire departments for saving their family beach cottage from a fire over 18 months ago. Their family cottage on 5th Avenue has been in the family for over 40 years.
On April 23, 2022, Mike and Debbie Davis were enjoying dinner at their Southern Shores home on Jean Guite Creek when they noticed an abundance of sirens in the distance. Out of curiosity, Debbie opened a free police scanner app on her phone to investigate. Their hearts dropped when they heard there was a house fire on 5th Avenue in Southern Shores. Mike and Debbie jumped in their truck and rushed to 5th Avenue.
Mike and Debbie could see a large cloud of smoke as they drove closer to 5th Avenue. Once they turned on 5th Avenue, emergency personnel informed them they could not drive any further down the avenue. Mike and Debbie parked their truck and started to walk toward their family cottage at the other end of the avenue. They feared their house was an inferno as they walked closer to the other end 5th Avenue.
Mike and Debbie were relieved their family cottage was not engulfed in flames as they arrived however, they were heartbroken to see their neighbor’s cottage next door was probably a total loss.
Just as Mike and Debbie arrived, the flames from their neighbor’s cottage spread to their family cottage. The fire fighters were now working to contain fires at both cottages.
As Mike and Debbie watched in awe, other family members, Michelle Eichelberger (Chesapeake, VA), Kendra Reisch (Southern Shores) and Kara Wood (Virginia Beach, VA) arrived at the scene of the fire. The Davis Family huddled together and shared memories as the SSVFD and other fire departments worked diligently to extinguish the fires. After a few hours, the family was allowed to walk through their family cottage with the fire fighters.
Memories from the last 40 years were reminisced as they carefully walked through their family cottage to assess the damage. They were heartbroken to see the severe smoke and water damage but reminded themselves it could have been worse.
The next day, the Davis Family started to work together to rebuild their family cottage. After 18 months of rebuilding, they had their first Davis Family Thanksgiving gathering since the fire. The cottage may have looked a little different but the memories of the last 40 years were still there.
The Davis Thanksgiving started over 40 years ago with just Neal, Jean, their four children and a few friends. Today, the Davis Thanksgiving has grown to over 30 family members and friends. This year the Davis Family had plenty to give thanks for as they shared past Thanksgiving memories and made new memories.
Along with the Southern Shores Volunteer Fire Department, The Davis Family would like to thank the Duck, Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills, Nags Head and Colington Fire Departments for saving their family cottage.
PICTURES: The Davis Family giving thanks at their 5th Avenue family cottage showing support for the Southern Shores Volunteer Fire Department by wearing their SSVFD shirts.