OGDEN -- The past week has been an emotional roller coaster for Ogden resident Leonard Handy.
A few days ago he was diagnosed with heart problems. On Monday, his common-law wife, Lydia Petersen, gave birth to a baby girl, said his brother Doug Handy.
Then early Wednesday morning Leonard Handy's garage and home, at 2802 Jackson Ave. were destroyed by a fast-moving fire.
"The last week has been a real circus," Doug Handy said in a phone interview.
Leonard Handy said he was getting his children ready for bed late Tuesday night and had gone to bed himself, when a smoke detector went off.
He got out bed, went into the kitchen, saw smoke and realized the garage was involved in flames.
"The fire was outside of the garage and was coming in straight toward the back door," Leonard Handy said.
The fire is perplexing because it raced toward the house, said Leonard Handy.
"It's pretty scary. I slammed the door, grabbed my three kids and ran outside."
Leonard Handy said he went to use a garden hose to fight the fire but it was either cut or broken.
"Too many strange things happened (with the fire)," he said, adding that the hose worked fine Tuesday.
Ogden firefighters were dispatched to Leonard Handy's residence around 12:25 a.m. Wednesday, where they found the garage and home engulfed in fire.
The cause of the blaze, which originated in the garage containing household items and roof shingles, remains unknown, Ogden Fire Marshal Brandon Thueson said Wednesday evening.
"There is so much damage that determining the cause is difficult," Thueson said.
Leonard Handy said he lost $50,000 in construction tools, which he needs for his job with a local construction company, and other items.
There is no indication of accelerants or electrical problems starting the fire, Thueson said.
The fire caused about $130,000 in damages to the house, garage and contents.
Construction was beginning to convert the garage into a family room and several bedrooms, said Doug Handy.
Leonard Handy, his two sons, ages 6 and 2 and a daughter, 4, escaped the home without injury. His wife and newborn daughter were still at an Intermountain Health Care Hospital in Salt Lake City and weren't home when the blaze broke out.
Jenny Heath, who lives at 2766 Jackson Ave., said she heard a loud noise around the time the fire broke out. A few minutes later, she said, she heard sirens from fire engines, then looked out her bedroom window and saw smoke and fire coming from Handy's home.
"I could see flames licking up (on the house and garage) again and again," said Heath, who provided clothing to Leonard Handy's two sons after they escaped from the burning home.
Throughout Wednesday, neighbors brought piles of clothes and toys to Heath's home for the Handy family.
"Everyone felt really bad and stepped up," she said.
Leonard Handy and his family, who will be staying temporarily with friends and relatives, appreciate the donations, said Doug Handy.
"Neighbors have rallied around to help out," he said.
Leonard Handy agreed that the help from his neighbors has been huge:
"I think it's outstanding."