Fire claimed the life of a 55-year-old Montesano man Thursday morning, Montesano Fire Department Chief Corey Rux said.
At about 9 a.m. Thursday, Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s deputies responded a report of fire in a mobile home park on Poplar Road, finding the mobile home fully engulfed in flames, Rux said. They were able to bring the man out of the home, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.
Relatives identified the man as Aberdeen High School graduate Daryl Brooking. He’s survived by sister Debbie Badgley.
“He loved his family, nephews and nieces,” Dave Badgley, Debbie’s brother-in-law, said.
Brooking lived in the Vancouver, Wash., area before moving to Montesano at least 15 years ago, Badgley said. He kept to himself much of the time, but was an avid newspaper reader, subscribing to several papers. “He loved his newspapers, information,” Badgley said, especially letters to the editor.
Julie Sisk has delivered his copy of The Daily World for at least eight years, and remembered a vibrant man who loved to make people laugh.
“To me, he was just like a barrel of laughs coming out” when she brought the paper, she said. “On a hot day, he always had a Popsicle for me, if not two Popsicles, because he knew how sick I got in the heat. He would come out in his bathrobe and shower cap and fuzzy slippers and tell me jokes while I ate the Popsicles.”
A neighbor warned her what to expect before she got to Brooking’s home Thursday.
“It was kind of a shock when I pulled in there,” Sisk said. “I saw it and I was just flabbergasted. I could not believe it. … I’m going to miss him.”
There’s no determination yet on where the fire started or what caused it, Rux said. As Babgley and other relations combed through the ashes Thursday, they only saw extensive damage throughout the mobile home.
“It’s just a shell,” Badgley said.
Firefighters from Montesano Fire and Grays Harbor Fire District 2 were able to contain the fire to the mobile home. No other injuries were reported. Montesano Police Department officers also assisted.