Fire destroys Tiffin artist’s workshop

Published: Apr. 6, 2021 at 9:32 AM EDT
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TIFFIN, Ohio (WTVG) - What started out as a hobby for Doug Fretz quickly turned into a growing business as a chainsaw artist.

But now, Fretz is facing thousands of dollars in losses after a fire destroyed his workshop on Easter.

“I was pulling up the driveway and just saw smoke coming out of the cabin,” Doug’s daughter Mikaela Huff-Fretz said. “Immediately my adrenalin starts pumping and I’m like, ‘Dad, Dad, Dad!’”

While spending time with his family on Easter, the unthinkable happened. The fire destroyed the workshop he built and everything inside of it -- including 15 carvings, a 100-year-old desk belonging to his grandfather, and more than $4,000 work of tools.

“A lot of my tools were specialty tools, and a lot of them were brought in from Germany,” Fretz said. “Trying to replace all that seems like an overwhelming task.”

Fretz started his craft as a chainsaw artist 15 years ago, but growing up on a dairy farm, he said his dad had him clearing wood with a chainsaw since he was 14-years-old.

“I like the expression of any kind of art,” Fretz said. “I have always loved art. Funny enough, I can’t draw worth a lick, but I can carve.”

And he makes carvings of all shapes and sizes. Each one takes about a day to make. He said the most requested item is bald eagles.

Fretz still doesn’t know what may have caused the fire. As for his hobby-turned-business, he’s not ready to give up just yet.

“My dad taught me early on to wake up, put your boots on, and get at it, so no matter what happens, the attitude is to continue on,” Fretz said.

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