The Downside of Fireworks
A Home Destroyed, a Holiday Saved
May, 2021 - Issue #199
photography by Mel Carll
photography by Mel Carll

The Griffis family home after Paul Davis Restoration of Santa Clarita repaired and replaced the roof, patio, stucco, windows, paint and more that was destroyed in a devastating fire caused by illegal fireworks.

Paul Davis Restoration of Santa Clarita put the Griffis Family's Lives Back Together
A simple rule of physics - what goes up must come down - proved devastating for one local family last year when illegal fireworks ignited a home fire.
"My whole family was asleep - it was about 12:30am. Then I hear my grandson yelling that the house is on fire and that there are flames on the patio. We're so lucky he woke up," says homeowner Victoria Griffis.
Fate was also kind: a neighbor had happened to glance outside to see that the front of Griffis's home was aflame and immediately called 911.
"The fire department couldn't reach us through the front of the home because it was burning, so we had to escape through the garage," recalls the matriarch. "There was no time to grab our cats or even put on clothes. I left without my phone, my family photos, memories of my husband who passed."
In a matter of seconds, all Griffis and her family possessed were the smoke-filled pajamas they were wearing.

"Paul Davis did a fantastic job after the fire. When they were done, I couldn't even tell there was a fire! Our home looked EVEN BETTER than before the damage. And they were amazing to work with - great communication, always making sure they met or exceeded expectations. They quickly returned every text, even on weekends. All our smoke-damaged possessions smelled brand new. And after I told them how important it was to celebrate Christmas back home, they went out of their way to get everything done in time. We're so grateful!"
Victoria Griffis

Even though the fire department arrived in mere moments, thanks to the close proximity of the station, 80 percent of the home was affected by the fire. "Smoke was in the walls, all the furniture, all our possessions. The ceilings were broken so that the fire department could put out embers. The roof was destroyed. There was damage to the kitchen, bedrooms, plumbing. It was extensive," says Griffis.
But just as thorough as the damage was Paul Davis Restoration of Santa Clarita's response. "We were on the scene asap with a contents crew and mitigation team," recalls Leon Hannah of PDR. "We packed out and transported all of the contents to our Valencia facility for deodorizing, cleaning and storage until the repairs where complete and cleaned up and removed the burned materials, framing, drywall and more. Once clear, our construction crew performed repairs on framing, drywall, flooring and paint. On the exterior, we re-stucco'd the front of the house, fixed the handrail, fence, and the front gate, replaced the front windows and repainted the whole house. We noticed that there was a bonus room missing a permit, but by working with Victoria and the local municipality through the planning and permitting process, we found the permit her husband had obtained years prior, which helped save her money and hassle on the bonus room repairs."
The extra effort, a signature of the Paul Davis Restoration client experience, did not go unnoticed. "I really love Paul Davis Restoration and can't say enough nice things about them," says Griffis.
But what really sold Griffis on Paul Davis: "My husband passed a few years ago and this was the house that we've lived in together for over 30 years. We raised our kids here. This home still holds him. If I'm in my house, I feel his presence. The thought of having Christmas in a rental, not in that home... I couldn't fathom it," says the homeowner.
Griffis shared her feelings with her Paul Davis Restoration team. "They immediately understood that Christmas is very important to me and they worked around the clock to get us back home before Christmas Eve. It was amazing!"
"Paul Davis was a dream to work with from beginning to end. Everything had to be cleaned and put into storage, but if we needed something, they'd just bring it to us in our rental. I don't drive, so the team would just come by the rental to bring me things to sign or give me updates. I'm sure it was an inconvenience to them, but you'd never know it. They were all so nice and helpful," says the grandmother.
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