A fire northwest of Bayfield on Saturday that caused upward of $700,000 in damages is likely to be ruled accidental, Upper Pine River Protection Fire Protection District Chief Bruce Evans said.
The fire, which was reported around 1:30 p.m. at 405 County Road 504, completely consumed a woodworking and mechanic shop.
According to Evans, investigators believe the homeowner was on the second floor of the shop sharpening chisels and files on a grinder, which caused sparks to fly.
Investigators believe the sparks came into contact with sawdust on the shop’s floor and began to smolder. The homeowner went into his house to eat lunch, and the shop caught fire.
“Someone knocked on his door and said your barn is on fire,” Evans said.
Evans said the homeowner owned a extensive custom woodshop. The amount of the losses may be more than the estimated $700,000.
“We still have a long way to go documenting the value,” Evans said.