Two-alarm fire destroys five businesses in Antioch

May 28, 2013 6:08:06 PM PDT
Five small businesses went up in smoke at an East Bay strip mall Tuesday dealing a big blow to the owners and the community. The mom and pop stores on Buchanan Road in Antioch went up fast and were totally destroyed.

This story is about tough breaks. These businesses survived the recession, the worst the economy could deal. A place called "Your Personal Barbershop" in Antioch is often filled with the sound of laughter. "It was joy, joy," recalled.

Now, there's only the sound of seeping water and the smell of a dead fire. It's one small business from an entire block of them that no longer exist in Antioch. Al's Giant Burger, Buchanan Nails, Creative Cuts, Antioch Jewelers, and Your Personal Barber Shop burned into black shells after a fire that began in the restaurant attic.

"The smoke, when we popped our ventilation holes, we had basically a smoke explosion which led to the flames from the roof of the structure," Contra Costa County Fire Capt. John McNamara recalled. It took just 90 minutes to destroy the row of lifetime dreams and more.

Five businesses and even more livelihoods are gone, and just as the economy had finally turned around. "We don't know what tomorrow will bring. It's all in the hands of God," said barber Sean Williams.

The structure will be torn down Friday.

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