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Business owners persevere after fire destroys building

“It’s something that happened and you just have to continue on and kind of gather your thoughts and move ahead”
Updated: Apr. 27, 2021 at 7:17 PM CDT
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FLORENCE, Ala. (WAFF) - Almost three months ago, more than a dozen business owners were picking up the pieces after an early morning fire destroyed their building in Florence.

Thirteen plus years of work and a lifetime of dreams went up in smoke on an early February morning.

More than a dozen business owners had to find new places to work.

“When my dad called me to tell me that I couldn’t go to work that day because the building burned down last night his voice was horrific, which is not common for him, he’s usually even, so that kind of haunted me for some days,” said Vanessa McIntyre.

It’s been almost three months, but the fire didn’t burn these beautician’s ambitions.

“It’s something that happened and you just have to continue on and kind of gather your thoughts and move ahead,” said Tiffany Vandiver.

Vandiver and McIntyre are temporarily sharing a space with two other beauticians across the street from where their salons burned down.

The space was offered to them after the fire. After some temporary remodeling, the ladies were back in the swing of things just one month later.

“In a time like this, I like the familiarity. When I come to work, I come the same way. I’m just across the street,” said Vandiver.

It’s a stark reminder of the day their lives drastically changed. But they also said it’s a reminder of hope and community.

“The community’s support was amazing, almost overwhelming. Just overwhelming that strangers would come and took the time prayers, volunteer work, or donations, but it was truly amazing,” said Vandiver.

As far as the rebuild, they said plans are in place and they hope it’ll be done in the next year or so.

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