ASHEBORO, N.C. – A glassblowing artist is still in shock after his backyard studio and workshop went up in flames Wednesday night.
“I'm just dumbfounded...I don't know what to say anymore,” said Mark Johnson, who’s been blowing glass for 20 years. Now, his livelihood is gone.
He left his workshop to grab something from his house around 11 p.m. Wednesday, but moments later, he saw flames shooting 30 feet in the air. Firefighters got there just in time before the fire spread to his home.
Jordan and his family are grateful their home was spared, but after years of making beautiful glass art inside the studio, he feels a part of his world is shattered.
“Whenever anything is going wrong or when things are not right, I could always go out in my shop and find myself,” he explained, “I'm not much of a drawer, I'm not much of a painter, so I found my niche with glass.”
Jordan usually sees fire as a tool for creation, but this time, it was a force of destruction.
“I went out the door, grabbed the hose from the backyard and it was just it wasn't enough,” he said.
On Thursday, the shell of the studio is still surrounded by yellow tape. While the firefighters kept the flames away from the house, the fire got dangerously close - burning bushes and melting a bird feeder. The workshop is considered a total loss.
All that remains for now are the glass creations he stored in his home. It will take time, but Mark says, this is not the end.
“Clean up comes first but then I will rebuild,” said Jordan.
He was in the process of making Christmas ornaments, which is something he does every year for friends and family. The cause is unclear but investigators believe the oxygen & propane tanks in the studio likely added fuel to the fire.
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