WINSTON-SALEM, NC -- A well-known musician in Winston-Salem lost his entire life's work in a fire on Tuesday night.
Stephen Wishnevsky woke up and realized his workshop behind his house on McCreary Street was fully engulfed.
Wishnevsky used that workshop to make instruments for his company, wishbass.com.
Luckily, nobody was injured. However, Steve's truck and everything inside the shop was destroyed including 30 handmade guitars.
On Wednesday, Wishnevsky combed through the twisted metal and scorched debris – salvaging what he could.
"Let's see, that was a heater. This was a box of clamps. Another compressor," said Wishnevsky. "There was a stereo set with 600 CDs, they're not much good anymore."
He's still trying to figure out how his life's work was completely ravaged in just a matter of minutes.
"It's in your mind, it's in your memory, it's a part of you," said Wishnevsky. "This is like having to clean up after a parent has died."
He lost thousands of dollars worth of equipment used to build musical instruments, specifically fret-less bass guitars. To make matters worse, he lost more than 20 years worth of memories when the workshop went up in flames.
"Everything has a story. Everything means something. Everything has a history," Wishnevsky said as he picked up an old toolbox. "Oh, this was my dad's toolbox. That's what this was."
Wishnevsky said he's having a hard time coming to terms with the fact that he is no longer able to assist aspiring musical artists.
"Me doing my job well means they can do their job well," said Wishnevsky. "That means the guy in the audience is happy, or sad, or whatever he is. Whatever he wants to be."
Now, he's picking up the pieces left behind and working to start over.
"I got no time for angst. That's always been my motto," Wishnovsky said. "All my life, you can do anything if you don't angst about it."
Investigators say the fire was caused by a loose pipe from a wood stove.
A www.gofundme.com account has been set up to help Wishnevsky rebuild.
Ziggy's in Winston-Salem will host a benefit concert on March 15th.