Devastating Fire Claims Knife Makers’ New Shop, 2 Dogs

Adam and Haley DesRosiers are a husband and wife knife making team who live and work in the remote bush of Southeast Alaska. Tuesday night, they were heat-treating a large part in their new shop when it caught the quench oil on fire and quickly spread to the rest of the shop. “It was a huge oil fire. The fire was so hot it destroyed the shop’s cement pad – it looks like a bomb went off.” says Adam.

The family also lost both their dogs, a yellow lab and standard poodle to the fire. “We’re hoping they were asleep, we didn’t know they were in the shop until it was too late,” Adam says. “They were both our companions and served to alert us if there were any wild animals in the area. The dogs were happy and lively. They were an integral part of our life out here.”

The DesRosiers worked as commercial fishermen in the summers to re-invest the money they’d earned into materials to build the shop. “We put everything into this. We quit our fishing jobs last year. It was a dream come true for both of us,” says Adam.

“We literally cleared the land and cut the trees used to make the shop,” Adam tells us. The DesRosiers, both designated Master Blade Smiths, started working out of the shop 2 years ago after spending the prior 2 years building it with the help of family and the surrounding community. “You can’t just call a cement truck in. Everything needs to be brought in on a barge.”

The remnants of their shop sit adjacent to their home and not only contained their knife making equipment and materials but also their general tools many of which were used to build the shop itself. “We spent most of our time in there,” Adam says of the shop which he estimates was more than 6 times the size of their house.

The DesRosiers are intent on rebuilding the shop. “It’s our worst nightmare, but Haley and I are both capable people. We’ll have to go back to fishing for a year or two.”

The Knife Making community has set up a FaceBook Group and BladeForums thread to auction off their latest creations with the proceeds going to help with immediate expenses and kickstart the rebuilding efforts. “Haley and I are independent people. We like to be the ones helping, but the support from this community has been amazing – many¬†professions could not say the same.”

UPDATE: Friends of the DesRosiers have set up a Crowd Sourcing Page: