Youngwood salon owner faces ‘worst nightmare’ as fire strikes building
Candy Valentino watched early Thursday as firefighters worked at the Youngwood salon and spa she and her father built 19 years ago.
She remained positive, having coffee and water brought to the scene for crews that extinguished the flames along North Third Street, or Route 119.
“This is your worst nightmare as a business owner,” she said, watching firefighters work. “The damage is pretty severe.”
Firefighters were called to Platinum Salon & Spa at 4 a.m. and found fire coming out of a side door. The blaze was under control within an hour, but the damage had already been done.
Youngwood Fire Chief Lloyd Crago said that when firefighters arrived there was heavy fire in the basement and first floor that extended into the attic.
He said it appears the fire may have started in the basement or possibly the first floor. A state police fire marshal will investigate.
“Lot of damage ... (in the) basement, first floor and even to the attic and then on the other side of the building a lot of heat damage,” he said.
Route 119 was closed for a couple hours. A firefighter was checked at the scene for smoke inhalation.
Two ladder trucks stretched to the roof of the front of the building and more firefighters worked in an alley behind the salon. Firefighters went in and out of the building with flashlights.
Valentino said she started the business when she was 19. Her thoughts were swirling about how to get the salon back up and running for her 20 employees for the last few months of 2018, typically the busiest time of the year.
“They’re my priority,” she said of her staff. “I will make sure that my staff has a place to work for their families.
“As I’m in shock and devastated, my mind’s also immediately in go mode -- what can I do to relocate really quickly as we rebuild so that they have a place to work and for all of our clients to be able to see us.”