By Jeff Todd
IDAHO SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) – The artist who watched his house burn to the ground after the fire was intentionally set wants to rebuild in a new unique way.
“My daughter wants a tree house,” said Dave Shelton. “We have these solid caissons I can build off of. I can probably put together a decent tree house.”
The caissons are all that is left of the three-story, 24-year project Shelton has been working on. A unique home full of priceless instruments and artwork. 36-year-old Robert Leibold is accused of setting the fire on Friday.
“People like him who have a disease, which is bi-polar, aren’t able to get help. I’m going to assume it’s not that he’s trying to mess with me and take my whole livelihood away, my retirement away. I’m assuming he wasn’t thinking that I think he was thinking more on the lines (of) ‘I’m doing something so intense they have to throw me away and keep me away because I can’t afford to be this way,’” Shelton said.
Shelton is world famous not just for his wood carvings and special wood guitars but also the Shelton Manor itself.
“It was an art and music studio slash home for people to come stay at,” he said. “This house is like a family member.”
“So many people fell in love with this place I’m not concerned there’s not going to be enough money (to rebuild),” Shelton said.
Jeff Todd joined the CBS4 team in 2011 covering the Western Slope in the Mountain Newsroom. Since 2015 he’s been working across the Front Range in the Denver Headquarters. Follow him on Twitter @CBS4Jeff.