UPDATE 9/28/12 @ 6:20 p.m.
INSTITUTE, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A business was destroyed Friday as customers and a community stood by and watched in disbelief.
Don Juan's Barbershop had just opened for the day when the building went up in flames.
“I was probably in the chair about two minutes,” Joey Daughtery, a customer, said. “He started on the back lining me up, and that was it. I'm gonna have to find somewhere to get it finished.”
Daughtery's haircut was cut short when he and several others had to evacuate the building.
“He grabbed his clippers and grabbed some other things. Next thing you know, the smoke kept building and building. All of the sudden, we started seeing flames,” Daughtery said.
“It was just the scariest thing ever,” Keon Clark, an Institute resident, said.
When Clark realized where the smoke was coming from, that fear turned to sorrow.
“That building has been here for decades,” Clark said. “It's a tragedy.”
The building also housed several apartments, but firefighters say nobody was living in them at the time.
As customers rushed out of the barbershop, firefighters responded quickly, and students at West Virginia State University left class to see what was happening.
“Somebody came in and said, 'There's a fire going on behind the barber shop,' ” Tiffany Burdette, a student, said.
There's no word yet on whether the barbershop will reopen in a different location.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
It started about 9:15 a.m. Friday in the 5000-block of Fairlawn Avenue.
Firefighters say the barbershop had just opened for the day when they saw smoke in the building.
There was five people inside. They were able to get out.
Fairlawn Avenue is closed in the area. Traffic is being diverted around West Virginia State University.
The building is considered a total loss.
It started just about 9:15 a.m. Friday in the 5000-block of Fairlawn Avenue.
Dispatchers say crews are just arriving on the scene, but flames and smoke can be seen coming from the building.
The barbershop had just opened when the fire started.
We have a crew on the scene.
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