August 22, 2014

Elyria
Partly sunny
85°F
test

Fire destroys Elyria Township barn

An aerial truck sprays water into a burning pole barn after an overheated woodburning stove is suspected of starting a fire. The fire on Murray Ridge Road in Elyria Township on Monday had AREA departments responding for mutual aid. BRUCE BISHOP/CHRONICLE

An aerial truck sprays water into a burning pole barn after an overheated woodburning stove is suspected of starting a fire. The fire on Murray Ridge Road in Elyria Township on Monday had five area departments responding for mutual aid. BRUCE BISHOP/CHRONICLE

ELYRIA TWP. — A fire in a structure Monday burned through one of the cherished memories that Rebecca DeLapp had of her father, Kenneth Gall, who died in April.

“That was his shop,” DeLapp said of the barn-turned-woodshop that burned down behind her house Monday.

At about 2 p.m., a fire broke out in the two-story barn in the 7900 block of Murray Ridge Road in Elyria Township.

David Gall, DeLapp’s brother, who was working in the shop at the time, said he saw smoke coming from behind the woodburner on the first floor but, unable to reach the source of the smoke, he was forced to leave the building and call the fire department.

For more than four hours, fire departments from Elyria Township, Sheffield Lake, Sheffield, Sheffield Township and Avon worked to put out the blaze, which burned through the interior and roof of the barn.

Elyria Township firefighters stand by as an aerial truck pours water into the fire from above them.

Elyria Township firefighters stand by as an aerial truck pours water into the fire from above them.

Elyria Township Fire Chief Steve Holtzman said he’s not sure what caused the fire, but Gall said it could have been the woodburner in the barn.

For DeLapp, who grew up in the house in front of the woodshop, the loss is a difficult blow.

“My father worked up until he died,” DeLapp said of her father, who ran a woodcraft business called Ken’s Woodcraft. DeLapp said she and her siblings were raised in the house and saw their father’s business grow, working with companies like Williams Brothers and Beall.

After her father’s death on April 26, DeLapp said she and her brother decided to keep the business alive, starting with fixing up the woodshop.

“We were trying to get it going again,” DeLapp said.

Firefighters were still working on the fire at 6 p.m. Monday. Sheffield Fire Department brought in an aerial truck to help extinguish the flames about 4 p.m.

Despite the destruction, DeLapp reflected on her father’s work in the woodshop with pride.

“He meant for it to last as long as he did,” she said.

Contact Anna Merriman at 329-7245 or amerriman@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter at @AnnaLMerriman.