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Fire destroys welding workshop in Victoria (Video)

By Carolina Astrain
April 15, 2013 at 12:03 p.m.
Updated April 15, 2013 at 11:16 p.m.

Overwhelmed at the total loss of his auxiliary workshop on Wagon Trail Road near Mission Valley, 58-year-old Gilbert Jennings sits despondent on his electric golf cart after an early morning fire destroyed his workshop. Firefighters from Victoria, Nursery and Mission Valley responded to the call.

Gilbert Jennings, 58, buried his face into the steering wheel of a beige golf cart as Victoria firefighters tore through his workshop, trying to determine the cause of a Monday morning blaze.

At about 10 a.m., the Victoria Fire Department, Victoria County fire marshal and the Mission Valley and Nursery volunteer fire departments responded to a report of a barn fire in the 300 block of Wagon Trail, off Upper Mission Valley Road.

Descriptions of heavy smoke and flames engulfing two sheds on the side of the main structure were reported.

The fire resulted in a complete loss. An overloaded electrical outlet was to blame, said county Fire Marshal Ron Pray.

"Basically, they had wiring running into that storage building that was running too many items," Pray said. "There were multiple high-wattage lights, and there was two air conditioners and a bunch of other stuff that had power to it."

Jennings, a widower, said his workshop was the one place he could go to keep himself busy.

Welding tools, a $15,000 tractor and several other bits of machinery lost in the blaze were valued at $50,000, said Jennings.

"Thank God for insurance," said the retired fabrication welder.

Reporter Jessica Priest contributed to this story.

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