DETROIT- - He makes a living putting out fires and saving people's homes but a fire destroyed his.
Now Donovan Dickerson is staying with family members until he gets back on his feet.
"I was blessed to get the home, you know," he said. "And then for this to happen ..."
"It doesn't even feel real yet."
A Detroit firefighter reduced to tears after his home was nearly reduced to rubble.
It happened at about 10:30 Tuesday night on the 2100 block of Concord in between Kercheval and Vernor near E. Grand Boulevard.
"I looked up at the doggone ceiling and it looked like the sky was on fire," said Donovan's cousin,
Cox was in the house when the fire started and after getting out safely, called Donovan who was out with a friend.
"He said, 'Come quick the house is on fire,'" Dickerson said. "My heart dropped. I said no, not my house. My house? Can't be."
But it was and by the time Donovan returned, the house he called home was engulfed in flames.
"I knew right off the bat the house was gone because I've been out on scenes like this before," Dickerson said. "Clothes, shoes you can get all that back. But the memories are gone."
Donovan was in the middle of renovating the house, which was not insured and that is not the worst of it. He says he inherited this home last year when his grandfather died.
"And it's not even about the material things - this house, this is a family house," he said. "We've been here 60 years. Seven generations grew up in this house."
While there probably won't be an eighth, it's not stopping fellow firefighters from trying to help.
Donovan's classmate from the fire academy came up with the idea to sell T-shirts to raise money. Roughly 200 have already been sold
"I appreciate that, I appreciate my classmate Scott Ziegler, he came up with the idea," Dickerson said. "I'm grateful for that.
"He's supporting me right now and the whole fire department is. I appreciate that."
Donovan says he planned on getting home owner's insurance after he renovated the entire house. Obviously he would've done well to get insured beforehand.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Investigators say they're going get to the bottom of it Thursday.
If you would like to support Dickerson by buying a T-shirt CLICK HERE.
If you would like to donate with a GoFundMe set up for him, CLICK HERE.