The Puzzle Tree Destroyed - San Diego, California
Custom Puzzle Craft
Maker of Fine Wooden Jigsaw Puzzles and Sculptures
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Erected October 30, 2003 - Dismantled January 26, 2005 - Destroyed October 22, 2007

Several great firestorms swept through parts of San Diego county, starting on October 21, peaking late October 22 and continuing a few more days. The homes of two friends, Bob Archer (co-builder of the Puzzle Tree) and Jean Cornwell were destroyed at San Pasqual Academy on October 22nd in The Witch Creek Fire, the worst of the firestorms. The wooden jigsaw puzzle pieces of The Puzzle Tree were stored in Bob Archer's garage. The garage was also burnt down in the intensely hot fire and no trace of the Puzzle Tree pieces (made of wood and coated with poly urethane) remained. Bob's collection of Puzzle Tree models was also destroyed.

All pictures taken by me on October 29th, 2007, one week after the fire.

Ruins of Bob Archer's home
Bob barely had time to escape, the speed of the firestorm was incredible

Ruins of Bob Archer's garage
The Puzzle Tree's puzzle pieces were store here
Everything flammable in the garage was totally incinerated
Even the grass was totally burnt from the ground, by the intense fire heat, leaving sandy dirt

Aluminum melted
The sand was blown in from nearby hills. The firestorm had winds greater than hurricane force.

The remains of Bob's "deathmobile" used to transport the Puzzle Tree branches after the dismantlement
Glass windows melted

The wooden spear tips on the Puzzle Tree's scorched metal branches survived. The aluminum ladder was warped and no longer unfolded.
The Puzzle Tree branches were leaning against the now collapsed garage on the side away from the fire wind.

Smoke in San Diego, the day before

Smoke from the fires - October 22, 2007
The puzzle tree was stored in the intense smoky area of The Witch Creek Fire about 1/2" above the "S" in "San Diego"

Remains of Jean Cornwell's home

There are no plans to recreate the Puzzle Tree.

© John S. Stokes III - Puzzle Crafter & Webmaster

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