North Adams Transcript
SAVOY -- A recent house fire on Haskins Road has been deemed suspicious, and an investigation is ongoing, according to Savoy Fire Chief Larry Ordyna.
"All accidental causes have been eliminated. It was a set fire," Ordyna said Monday.
Because the unoccupied house had no electricity at the time of the blaze, arson is suspected. Ordyna said no concrete suspects have been identified.
Reports from the Fire Marshall’s Office say the initial call came from Savoy Police on Sunday, Oct. 16, reporting a structure fire on Haskins Road with a request for first-alarm mutual aid.
"Water was shuttled from Maynard’s Pond to fight the fire, and the guys did a good job to save the storage sheds -- one attached to the house and another on the property," said Ordyna. "The house itself was beyond saving."
Savoy, Adams, Cheshire, Florida, Hinsdale, Plainfield, and Windsor fire departments responded to the scene, as well as a Berkshire County hazmat team.
The house, known to some as "The Dragon House," was the home of Roger M. Davis, who died this January. Davis was perhaps best known as Savoy’s "witch," attracting people to his Savoy State Forest residence over the years for free witch consultations and past-life readings.
Davis graduated Castleton State College with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1964, was a veteran of the U.S. Army and worked as a teacher and a handyman during his career.
In 2007, Davis’s hand- and chainsaw-sculpted artwork was displayed in an exhibit at Mass MoCA called "Witch Vortex."
Davis built the Haskins Road house himself out of materials gathered from the surrounding area. It was called "Dragon House" because of the large, black sculpture of a dragon’s head attached to the roof.
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