Stinson fire spares fine art gallery


Claudia Chapline, an art gallery owner in Stinson Beach, poured the refreshments at her book club meeting on Monday. Before biting into a chocolate torte with raspberries, she went to turn off a noisy heater and noticed bright flames engulfing a tool shed in the garden. Ms. Chapline handed a garden hose to the discussion leader, but Pine Tree, a carpenter who lives across the creek, took over the job until fire engines arrived from Stinson Beach, Bolinas and the County Fire Departments. Apparently caused by an electrical fire, the shed was destroyed and the the gallery scorched, resulting in $10,000 in damages. One firefighter was hospitalized with smoke inhalation. No artwork was damaged, but the chocolate cake—now smoked—had to be tossed away.