While the Dollar General fire in Loves Park claimed no lives back in June, there were still casualties. Part of the strip mall had to come down, meaning, a few stores were forced out.
Midwest Hair Academy owner Tony Schiro never expected his business of 17 years to uproot so suddenly, but throughout the process, he's staying optimistic.
"I think the visibility here in this corner is going to be a lot better than it was back there." -says Schiro about his new store.
It's been two months since the Dollar General fire. Smoke damage stayed with some businesses for a few days, but for Schiro, his old location at the strip mall is gone for good.
"It's been an emotional roller coaster. First, we think we're going to move back in there, then they tell us there's structural damage, so the whole building had to come down." -says Schiro.
An entire section of the strip mall has gone up in smoke, and is now demolished. This dramatically changed plans for Schiro and his business.
"After about 4 to 5 weeks they told us they were not going to rebuild, we had to find a new location."
With Schiro's signature on the lease, Midwest Hair Academy will now train its students in the art of barbering and hair styling, right across the parking lot, at 6501 N. 2nd Street.
Despite the fire, and the scramble to re-locate, Schiro keeps his pupils' best interests in mind.
"They're anxious to get back in here. We've offered them to transfer to other schools if they would like, but they all decided they wanted to stay and wait for us to get opened back up." -he says.
Schiro hopes the academy will be up and running in its new location by the middle or end of September.
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