Austin Fire Chief Mickey Healey drags a hose away from the burned out wreckage of a shed on the Mark Raimann property just south of Austin early Friday morning. -- Eric Johnson/Albert Lea Tribune

Fire near Austin destroys thousands of online auction items

Published 2:30pm Saturday, January 5, 2013

AUSTIN — A rural Austin man’s shed and possibly more than 5,000 items were declared a total loss after a fire Friday morning.

Austin, Rose Creek and Lyle fire departments responded to a blaze at about 3:47 a.m. Friday at a home at the 54500 block of 175th Street, according to Mower County Sheriff Terese Amazi.

Amazi said the homeowner at the residence reported the fire after he woke up hearing a loud explosion. He reportedly looked out the window and saw a large ball of fire where his shed should be. The man last reported being inside the shed at 11 a.m. Thursday night.

Firefighters check for remaining hotspots at a shed that burned early Friday morning at the Mark Raimann property just south of Austin. -- Eric Johnson/Albert Lea Tribune

The homeowner runs an Ebay business where he sells antiques, collectibles and old toys, Amazi said. He used the 40-by-120 foot shed as an office and storage space, and he listed more than 5,000 items on Ebay.

Amazi said the cause of the fire and the estimated total property value lost is unknown, but the homeowner was insured. The man did have several heaters inside the shed, but it is unknown whether those items contributed to the fire. No injuries were reported.

  1. Talk about LUCK! Thousands of items, all cataloged, valued, insured, and on the auction block in a tough economy… This guy is going to walk away VERY, VERY HAPPY! Doesn’t it almost seem a bit… suspicious?