A woodworking shop and horse-related gear -- including a Santa Claus sleigh -- were destroyed in a late-night fire Tuesday, Nov. 5. No injuries were reported.

It's the second fire at Wally Rodewald's shop in the past two years.

Multiple fire departments responded at around 11:30 p.m. to the large fire at the County Highway 21 property.

Ryan Swanson, Detroit Lakes' Assistant Fire Chief, said that he was on scene about 3 minutes after the call came through. There was one building that was on fire, and "when I got on scene it was totally engulfed," he said.

The building was Rodewald's woodworking shop and held his farming and horse-related gear, including his tools, bridles, buggies, sleighs and more. Rodewald provides the Santa Claus sleigh rides in the winter in Detroit Lakes with those items.

WDAY logo
listen live
watch live

There was a fire there in April of last year too, and Rodewald had just replaced many of those same items, Swanson said.

"All of that was lost," Swanson said. "Nobody was hurt."

The Detroit Lakes, Frazee, Lake Park, Audubon, Callaway, Ogema, White Earth, Wolf Lake and Perham fire departments all responded to the scene because of the location and size of the fire.

"Getting enough water to slow it down when it was already fully evolved was the big task," Swanson said, explaining why nine fire departments were needed.

Some departments were in charge of getting more water, others filled the tanks, and then they would return to the fire. After about three hours, Swanson thinks they were able to get it under control.

"Make sure that your chimneys are clean and inspected before you fire up that wood fireplace," Swanson said as a safety warning for the community.