Joseph Urbanczyk has made a number of wooden lawn figures that can be seen in the yards of many of his neighbors on Lyth Road at Halloween and Christmas.
But the 83-year-old Hamburg man still was upset that he lost several hundred patterns to the figures in a Friday morning fire that destroyed his garage. His Dodge Caravan also was destroyed.
"All my patterns were in there," Urbanczyk said, sitting up on a stretcher across the street from his home, watching firefighters work at what was left of his garage. "Most of the stuff on the street he made," said a neighbor of the lawn decorations.
Urbanczyk said he lit a fire in the wood stove in his garage Friday morning, and then went out to weed his garden. About a half hour later, he returned to get a tool from the garage and discovered the fire shortly before 9 a.m. He said he leaned by his car to try to put out the fire, and singed the left side of his face.
"All of a sudden, the glass popped out," he said, adding that's when he left the garage. "I hollered to my wife to call the Fire Department . . . I guess I should have gotten the car out of the garage."
Urbanczyk said he believes the stove got hot and ignited some wood that was near it.
"We had a two-car garage totally involved with a vehicle inside," Newton-Abbott Volunteer Fire Chief Randall Snyder said.