Bailey Family Loses 20 Beloved Vehicles After Large Fire in Bushwood, State Fire Marshal Investigating Cause

February 20, 2021

Luckily no injuries were reported in this incident, however, the community, family and friends are deeply saddened of the loss of approximately 20 beloved vehicles that belonged to William Edward “Eddie” Bailey in a fire on Friday, February 19, 2021 in Bushwood.

One family member, Rick Mattingly, released the following on Facebook.

“When my grandfather passed away, I didn’t make a post. I saw all the love and outpouring from everyone in the community and decided there was nothing that I could add that someone didn’t already say.

However today, I’m going to make that post. Earlier this morning there was a fire at the garage where most of Eddie’s “Ladies” are located. The fire took everything. Thank God there were no injuries and all the rescue personnel were safe as they battled the fire. I know pop lives still in all of us but that, to me, was a great physical reminder of him.

Going there today seeing the damage was almost as bad as going to his funeral. I figured we still have the cars, we will still gather around and get them ready for the different shows we know he would want us to go to. We would talk about how he would come check up on us every hour, throwing his truck in park as it was still doing 15 mph, making sure we didn’t need anything. Joel and myself would shake our heads and smile as he would tell us about how he wanted to do this or that to the ones we thought could use a for sale sign. We would talk about how as soon as someone would ask him “Eddie, what year is that one?” he would grin ear to ear with a Marlboro light hanging out of his mouth, ash as long as the cigarette, and start telling them the story of how he got “this one” as he leaned up against it. How he would giggle every time he saw one of the great grandkids playing inside of them. As we would cuss him for hitting every mud hole after we got done pulling an all nighter to get them ready. I’m going to miss the mad scramble in the morning of trying to find drivers to take them to the pie run. I’m going to miss us having to jump start half of them before a show. I’m going to miss one of them breaking down at any point. I’m going to miss us saying f*ck it, we will go get a trailer to get this one back. I’m going to miss the weird noises the panel van made while you tried to turn the wheels. I’m going to miss the way the Mack sounded as it was blowing black smoke. I’m going to miss the way the Buick rode. I’m going to miss how fast the Mercury was. I’m going to miss the head turns you got while driving the Cadillac. I’m even going to miss how ugly the princess was. Most of all, I’m going to miss the pride and joy those girls gave my family.”

Eddie’s obituary can be found here, along with statements from the Seventh District Volunteer Fire Department, St. Mary’s County Commissioners, and Olde Breton Inn and Bailey’s Catering can be found here. 

The fire marshal is currently investigating the cause and origin of the fire. Investigation identified the owner of the structure as William Bailey Jr., with the estimated loss of structure and contents valued at $1,000,000.00

First responded were alerted at approximately 2:43 a.m., and arrived on the scene within minutes to find the 50×80 detached garage fully engulfed in flames. The fire marshal estimated approximately 20 vehicles were located within the structure and all of them were destroyed by the fire.

More than 50 firefighters responded and controlled the fire in approximately one hour.

No injuries to firefighters or civilians were reported.

The fire was discovered by the owner and anyone with any information regarding this incident is asked to contact the Office of the State Fire Marshal, Southern Regional Office, at 443-550-6834.

All photos are courtesy of, and belong to the Bailey Family, and Tom and Carol Davis of Your Journey Studios.

Visit their studio website here, and Facebook page here.

On Friday, February 19, 2021, at 2:45 a.m., firefighters from Seventh District, Leonardtown, Mechanicsville, Hollywood, Bay District, and Valley Lee responded to Bailey’s Party Rentals located at 22085 Whites Neck Road in Bushwood, for the reported garage on fire.

Crews arrived on the scene to find an approximate 30×50 detached garage fully engulfed in flames with the structure partially collapsed and threatening nearby structures.

Firefighters immediately declared the operation as defensive only and a short time later, crews requested an additional four tankers to the scene due to water supply issues in the area. The closest fill site for tankers was approximately 1.5 miles away at the Bushwood Wharf.

The fire was placed under control in approximately one hour and 10 minutes.

No injuries were reported.

The Office of the Maryland State Fire Marshal responded and is investigating the cause of the fire.

Updates will be provided when they become available.

Nearly two hours later, firefighters responded to a second large structure fire in Leonardtown. The full article can be found here.