Close Call!

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Blog entry by mpounders posted 02-03-2011 10:45 PM 4183 reads 0 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My shop is the old gray garage on the left, less than three feet from my neighbor’s new garage which was completely destroyed in about twenty minutes just an hour ago…..fortunately for me, the wind was blowing away from mine.

My daughter was home around 12:30pm, getting ready for work, when she heard a loud boom. She looked out her window and saw huge flames coming from the neighbors garage. She quickly dialed 911 and went outside to check on the neighbors and back her car away, down the driveway. The neighbors had some minor damage to the back of their house, but I really think my daughter’s quick action probably saved their house and possibly mine also. It’s kinda funny now, but my wife and daughter called to find out what my favorite tools were, if they had to save anything. You really know which tools are your favorites, when you are forced to make that decision quickly! (My gouges and knives, woodburner, and current project that I am carving were my choices, in that order!)

I am grateful that my neighbors and their pets were OK. And I will try to remember this, the next time I am tempted to complain about my daughter’s cell phone bill !

-- Mike P., Arkansas,

18 comments so far

View swirt's profile


2766 posts in 2993 days

#1 posted 02-03-2011 11:09 PM

WOW! My head hurts just trying to think of what tools to save. Glad everyone and everything is OK.

Any idea what the cause was?

-- Galootish log blog,

View mpounders's profile


875 posts in 2917 days

#2 posted 02-03-2011 11:33 PM

He had been working on/testing a portable generator and has also dumped an ashtray into a trashbag….not sure at this point if it was either. He did have some propane bottles and a LOT of tools, mitre saws, leaf vacuums, backpack blower, lawn mower, and other stuff. My daughter just heard a loud boom and it was already beyond salvage in just a matter of minutes.

-- Mike P., Arkansas,

View mtnwild's profile


3474 posts in 3549 days

#3 posted 02-03-2011 11:37 PM

That is a interesting happening. Glad you were not effected by it.
That poor little shop looks so forlorn there.
Interesting to me just seeing your humble work space. I appreciate the desire to create, no matter the obstacle. It can’t always be easy working in such a small space. Though we have seen other small work spaces. Credit to you for “just doing it”, with what you have. We carry our power with us.

-- mtnwild (Jack), It's not what you see, it's how you see it.

View TJ65's profile


1378 posts in 3071 days

#4 posted 02-03-2011 11:52 PM

Just the thought of loosing the shed makes you think….. what if !

-- Theresa,

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 3005 days

#5 posted 02-04-2011 12:13 AM

Guess this was just your lucky day. Glad things turned out ok and no one was hurt. Yes I would call that to close for comfort.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View Dez's profile


1166 posts in 4099 days

#6 posted 02-04-2011 12:24 AM

Definitely lucky!

-- Folly ever comes cloaked in opportunity!

View mpounders's profile


875 posts in 2917 days

#7 posted 02-04-2011 12:28 AM

Yeah, it is a circa 1930 single car garage, but it has an additional section added to make it longer. Cramped, cold, drafty, and water streams along the floor if it rains a lot! And while I long for a better space and better tools, I have learned to compensate and make do with what I have. Carving doesn’t always require a lot of tools and I have even challenged myself at times by using only a single tool and setting a time limit of 45 minutes to an hour to see what I can create (time can also be hard to find!). I had prepared myself on the quick drive home to see it in flames. Insurance would buy a better bandsaw and tablesaw, but the gouges and knives are pretty personal!

-- Mike P., Arkansas,

View CampD's profile


1673 posts in 3507 days

#8 posted 02-04-2011 12:35 AM

but I have to ask, what did your neighbor use the garage for?

-- Doug...

View mpounders's profile


875 posts in 2917 days

#9 posted 02-04-2011 12:42 AM

Mainly just storage. He works in construction and contracting, but had some nice lawn and gardening equipment also. They had did a lot of work since purchasing the house a few years back, including rebuilding the garage and making it taller for more storage space.

-- Mike P., Arkansas,

View mtnwild's profile


3474 posts in 3549 days

#10 posted 02-04-2011 01:24 AM

I think most of your knives would be salvageable. Would all need new handles though.

-- mtnwild (Jack), It's not what you see, it's how you see it.

View mafe's profile


11730 posts in 3111 days

#11 posted 02-04-2011 01:37 AM

I’m glad no one got hurt.
When this is said, I think you have to give big kisses to your daughter and wife.
Just the thought they had the overwiev to ask you what was the more important tools, amazing.
But tell them they never have to ask this, that untill the fire was gone, no tools were important.
A fantastic storry.
I think you have to go and sharpen oil and care for all the gauges and knifes now, it’s like a rebirth.
Congratulations with the shop you di not loose.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View tdv's profile


1188 posts in 3091 days

#12 posted 02-04-2011 02:00 AM

What a waste of a beautiful shop it’s a blessing your daughter wasn’t actually stood in the driveway on her way to work especially when you see where his garage doors landed glad no-one was hurt (except the insurance company)

-- God created wood that we may create. Trevor East Yorkshire UK

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3137 days

#13 posted 02-04-2011 02:40 AM

waov deffenly a close call :-O
glad to hear all is safe
just wonder a little if four firedistinguiser is enoff….or do we have to have our own
private firedepartment outside our shops …with such neighbours :-O

its now you take your daughter and wife out to a nice dinner and ask what they want

take care

View GaryD's profile


623 posts in 3391 days

#14 posted 02-04-2011 04:30 AM

Glad no one was hurt, including your garage. I know I would have a tuff time to say what was to go first. Hope I never am put in that position.

-- Gary, Little River,SC I've Learned that the Lord didn't do it all in one day and neither can I

View Rustic's profile


3253 posts in 3618 days

#15 posted 02-04-2011 05:00 AM

I agree with what everyone has said

--, Rick Kruse, Grand Rapids, MI

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