View Full Version : Fire! And I think I might be done.

03-03-2016, 06:05 AM
Well, I think I'm done. At least for a while. Electrical fire in what used to be my shop (shed, etc). It was a total loss- all of my tools (and my dad's and grandfather'so), wood/materials, jigs and fixtures, work in progress, everything is gone. And more sentimental items than I care to think about.

And - brace yourselves- BOTH of my Ken Timms sopranos.

Pete, if you read this rest assured that your tenor was not among the casualties.

No one was hurt. And luckily it sat far enough away from the house that it was "only" the shop that burned. A neighbor called the fire department, who in turn woke my wife and me up as they were dealing with it. Preliminary opinion is that the source was electrical, and I can't imagine what else it could have been, but I'm still waiting for the department's final report.

I just don't know if I have it in me to start over from nothing. I keep telling myself how much worse it could have been for my family, but sometimes I am not very convincing.

Here's a link (that I hope will work) to a pic of the aftermath. I'd post a straight up pic, but I don't want to have to keep looking at it.


03-03-2016, 06:10 AM
So sorry for your loss, it looks terrible. Glad to hear noone was hurt though, that's the most important thing! Fire can be devastating.

03-03-2016, 07:10 AM
oy...tough loss man. Good thing it was only the garage and no one was hurt. I think you'll be back to building though....some people just gotta build stuff

03-03-2016, 07:22 AM
That's really sad. So sorry to see and hear of your loss. :(

03-03-2016, 08:05 AM
Oh my goodness. I am sorry to hear. It must be devastating. My best wishes for you.

03-03-2016, 08:28 AM
Wow! So sorry for your loss! Maybe with a bit of time and distance, you'll want to build again. Best wishes!


03-03-2016, 08:28 AM
Im really sorry to read this. What a horrible situation to find yourself in. Im glad nobody was hurt.

As has been said already, I hope you are able to regain your passion for building. tomorrow is another (hopefully better) day

03-03-2016, 08:42 AM
my thoughts and prayers are with you, glad all are safe

03-03-2016, 09:27 AM
So sorry to hear. In the end things are just things, and it is a blessing that you and your wife are OK.
What a drag though.
Sending plenty of aloha your way!

03-03-2016, 10:28 AM
F*cking hell that's my worst nightmare, electrical fires. I can't imagine how it must hurt. I can't find any words to cheer you up of course but glad you and your wife are ok. If you'd want to have a go again anytime in the future I have good quality hand tools to spare and I would pay shipping.

03-03-2016, 10:51 AM
So sorry. I hope your insurance treats you right. Glad to hear no one was injured. If you decide to get back into building and you are interested I will add to what Sven says and send you some Cedar tops. It's hard to imagine having to start from scratch again.

Pete Howlett
03-03-2016, 11:30 AM
Oh dear Tobin... no-one injured is the main thing. I take your Howlett is safe?

03-03-2016, 12:11 PM
My heart goes out to you.
I am truly sorry for your loss.

03-03-2016, 01:19 PM
Fire is one of my main fears in the workshop...every time I leave the shed I turn off all the electric at the mains even if it is just for a couple of hours... I still worry at night when I leave the power on for security lighting and alarms.
I used to keep some gas cylinders in the there, but! Now I have moved them outside...I feel really sorry for you mate about this ..this is the second post on this site that has been involved in a fire in the workshop.

Michael Smith
03-03-2016, 01:47 PM
So sorry this happened.

03-03-2016, 01:57 PM
That's a great idea Sven and Philstix...

Tobin, if you decide to rebuild, I'm sure I have some wood I could send you to get started again. Tops, B&S's, brace wood, i might even be able to rustle up a tool or two to send along. I got some of that lovely Yew wood from Giles and was looking for an opportunity to pay it forward so let us know when/if you are ready!


03-03-2016, 06:29 PM
Yeah a real nightmare. I don't know how I would recover from a thing like that. You have my condolences. Got me thinking that I might want to call in a real electrician to my shop. The place is was wired by a cello maker of all things and I don't think he was an electrician. Actually he definitely was not an electrician.

chuck in ny
03-04-2016, 04:18 AM
people who experience instrument loss frequently find out that they find more pleasing replacements. you may not wish to rebuild the shop, but you should have the right ukes to play.

03-06-2016, 04:23 PM
Thanks all for your kind words. And thanks to Sven, Philstix, SeanB1, and those who have contacted me through PM and email (I've still got to raze and rebuild, so I guess I've got some time to think about this). I apologize for not saying so sooner - I've been a bit preoccupied with fire inspectors and insurance agents and the like. But I truly appreciate the warm sentiment from the UU community.

Final analysis blames a faulty ballast in the fluorescent light fixture that hung above my workbench, in case anyone was curious. It's amazing what some trained eyes can pick out of a pile of charcoal. Also amazing are some surprising survivors... so far a couple of my grandfather's Stanley spoke shaves (blade temper questionable at this point, but I'll take it!) and a Goose Acres banjo.

That must have been one heck of a banjo case! Admittedly any part of the instrument that was in contact with the red fuzzy case lining is now pink, but beyond that it seems to be in good shape. I guess now I really do need to learn how to play more than Cripple Creek and Cluck Old Hen. :rolleyes:

Thanks again, everyone. The aftermath is turning out to be a process. Maybe I'll fill you in on whatever else may turn out to have survived.