Novelist accidentally burns down office |

Novelist accidentally burns down office

by F.T. Norton
Appeal Staff Writer

Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal Home owner David Eddings talks with a Carson City firefighter Thursday afternoon outside his North Carson City home. Eddings accidentally destroyed his office by igniting gasoline while working on his vehicle.

An acclaimed novelist lost his office in Carson City on Thursday when he threw a lit piece of paper into gasoline.

Fantasy writer David Eddings, 75, said he was using water to flush out the gas tank of his broken-down Excalibur sports car, when some fluid leaked. In a lapse of judgment he readily admitted, Eddings lit a piece of paper and threw into the puddle to test if it was still flammable. The answer came in an orange torrent.

The fire raged through the garage and a quarter of the way into the office that occupies the lot next door to his home. His 95-year-old mother-in-law inside the home, came outside to find the juniper trees lining the driveway had gone up in flames, too.

Eddings said his intention to was to prevent a fire – he was afraid to leave a tank full of gasoline in a car that had gone kaput – but instead he did the opposite.

“One word comes to mind,” the renowned wordsmith said as he stood in a pajama shirt and slippers. “Dumb.”

The author of 27 novels, Eddings said the original manuscripts of most of his work were in the basement of the office building. But his biggest worry was about his fax machine, which is the connection between his home and his wife, Leigh’s, doctor. Leigh, co-author of most of his writings, is unable to speak as a result of a series of strokes.

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The loss of the sports car, which he bought in the 1970s, was a little painful as well, he said.

“It made for a real fancy vehicle, right up until it burned.”

• Contact reporter F.T. Norton at or 881-1213.