An e-bike charger malfunction sparked a fire in an Ocean Beach surfboard workshop Tuesday, destroying the work of a well-known surfboard shaper.
The workshop was set up in a shed on a property on Froude Street near Saratoga Avenue.
A San Diego Fire-Rescue Department crew responded to the fire just after 3 p.m. Firefighters were attacking the flames from the alley adjacent to the home.
Albert "Ace" Elliot's designs and priceless mementos were destroyed in the fire.
"I'm not gonna be able to get that back, not at my age," the 70-year-old designer said. "It ain't gonna happen. Fifty years worth of history was in this little crappy shed in my backyard and it's gone."
While Elliot, his family and his pets are safe, he says he's lost all the reasons he has to get up in the morning. As an "old beach guy," Elliot said his boards were all he had left.
"My little room back there was full of old boards. On the walls were pictures of all my dead friend, the boards I've made. That was my little escape from the world," he said.
The surfing community reacted quickly to the bad news by setting up a GoFundMe page to help Elliot get his Ace Surfboards up and running again.
Elliot said that people who had never met him but were familiar with his work stopped by his home to pay respects to his lost art.
Firefighters extinguished the fire but not before the flames spread to an outbuilding on a neighbor's lot.
A Hazmat crew was called to the scene to handle dangerous materials and chemicals inside.
No one was home at the time of the fire and two cats rescued from inside were left with the San Diego Humane Society.
The SDFD estimated the fire caused $150,000 worth of damage to the property and another $100,000 in lost vintage surfboards.