Fire destroys Sebastopol artist's workshop
Published: Sunday, May 27, 2012 at 10:03 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, May 27, 2012 at 1:50 p.m.
Fire destroyed a Sebastopol artist's workshop Saturday, causing an estimated $50,000 in damage, Central Fire officials said.
The fire may have started in welding and grinding equipment in Tom Ecklund's workshop behind his home on Ver Ni Road in east Sebastopol, said Acting Battalion Chief Rob Bisordi with Central Fire.
A neighbor called 911 at about 5:50 p.m. Saturday to report smoke was billowing from the structure.
“The owner had been doing work in the shop and went into town to get dinner,” Bisordi said. “He was alerted by his neighbors that there was smoke coming from the workshop area.”
Ecklund returned home from the grocery store and tried to extinguish the fire.
However, flames engulfed about 75 percent of the 1,500 square-foot structure when fire crews arrived and the wood building was filled with smoke and heavy heat, Bisordi said.
The structure was about 1,500 square feet and housed a a workshop and storage.
The fire destroyed reclaimed redwood, materials, “all my tools, everything, gone,” said Ecklund, who runs Sonoma Garden Designs and specializes in custom potting benches.
Friends were gathering at his home Sunday to console him, he said.
Tankers from Santa Rosa, Gold Ridge, Graton and Rincon Valley supplied water to the firefighting effort on the rural property off Duer Road north of Highway 12 on Sebastopol's eastern outskirts.
The fire damaged several trees including a neighbor's fruit trees as well as some ground vegetation.
Firefighters contained the blaze by 6:37 p.m. before it reached other structures, including the detached home, Bisordi said.
Central Fire officials led the firefighting effort, assisted by Gold Ridge, Cal Fire, Graton, Sebastopol and Santa Rosa engine crews.
Central Fire firefighters returned to the property early Sunday to ensure no hot spots smoldered over night.
You can reach Staff Writer Julie Johnson at 521-5220 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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