BECKER COUNTY, Minn. — A number of classic cars were destroyed in a Saturday, Oct. 12, fire at a pole barn-type garage full of automobiles and shop equipment at the Glen and Ruth Erickson home in Island Lake, according to Carsonville Fire Chief Michael Harvey.
“All the cars are gone,” Ruth Erickson said Friday, Oct. 19, adding that they would prefer not to talk about the loss.
In a 2011 Tribune story, Glen Erickson talked about classic cars, trucks and snowmobiles that he had restored that were stored on the property, including a custom-built 1936 Ford pickup, a mint condition 1959 Corvette and a 1930 Model A Ford.
Harvey didn’t know which vehicles were lost in the fire, but said “there were a lot of old cars in there. It was a big shop with a lot of cars in it.”
In the 2011 story, Erickson estimated that he put 20,000 hours of work into the 1936 Ford pickup over the years, including 10 years alone to complete the initial restoration work on the widened, chopped and lowered truck, which was featured in the October slot of the 2012 Snap-on Mini Snap-shots calendar.
The metal-framed pole barn was “pretty much a total loss,” Harvey said. “It was half engulfed and half the roof was down when we got there about 1 p.m. It’s hard to catch those (types of fires) — just after 2 p.m. the rest of the building collapsed.”
The fire was confined to the pole barn building, which was not connected to the house, he said. Water to fight the blaze initially came from fire department water tankers, then was pumped from a nearby pond.
Firefighters from Carsonville, Wolf Lake, Frazee and Detroit Lakes responded to the scene, which was cleared about 4 p.m., Harvey said.
He declined to say what caused the fire, but added that “it was a complete accident — the state fire marshal saw no need to come out (to investigate).”