FORT MYERS SHORES
A community beauty salon was destroyed by a gas bomb. The business now has black walls, busted windows and ash left behind.
But, the business isn’t the only thing that’s been damaged. An owner and stylist have had their livelihood taken away.
The owner, Lacretia Holt, says Head Rush Hair Salon was threatened before.
Those black walls, a busted roof and a boarded-up window are all that’s left of Lacretia Holt’s salon. That is a building she’s poured into for more than five years and a dream she’s had for even longer.
“I’m crushed. I’ve cried about 10 times,” Holt said.
“I just feel like a whole family, our local little community here has been crushed and so are my stylists that work here. We are all out of jobs at this point,” she said.
Holt says she tried to prevent this from happening. She met with Lee County Sheriff’s deputies to tell them how Valerie Diaz had been harassing her and vandalizing her business.
“They asked me ‘is your business number 13102?’ and I said ‘yes sir’ and he said ‘we just got a call that we believe your building is on fire,’” said Holt.
Vinny Russo and his wife smelled the smoke and call 911. He lives across the street from the salon. “I said ‘Maria something electrical is burning,’” Russo said.
“Some people are a little bit off balance and would do something like that and you wonder ‘wow why?’” he said.
The why and who are two things the Lee County Sheriff’s Office has yet to confirm.
Holt and her family pick up the pieces and salvage what they can, a symbol of hope remains. An outline of the word ‘blessed’ where a photo used to give Holt the push she needs to carry one.
“That to me was everything. It really was. It just gave me the reassurance to know that it’s going to be OK,” Holt said, getting emotional.
No one was hurt in the overnight fire. But, Holt says, the fire caused at least $20,000 worth of damage to the building. She knows it will take a while but she hopes to rebuild her salon.