Fire destroys shed and artwork inside

Artwork inside the shed was destroyed.
Artwork inside the shed was destroyed.

Fire destroyed a storage shed on Hood Avenue in Tavernier on Wednesday and the artwork of the man who owned it.

The shed was owned by local artist Douglas Mason, 84, who used it as a workshop where he produced his artwork -- birds made out of polyurethane -- says the Monroe County Sheriff's Office.

Sgt. Susan Keene responded to reports of the fire at 4 p.m. When she arrived, she found the shed fully engulfed. Firefighters arrived and put the blaze out.

The Sheriff's Office says Mason said he had been working in the shed until 3 p.m. and that he unplugged a fan inside and locked up. Next thing he knew, he got a call about the fire.

He told deputies a "number" of his pieces of art were inside and that he had been planning to sell them at an upcoming Third Thursday ArtWalk event in the Morada Way Arts and Cultural District.