West Metro Fire Investigates Arson at Crystal Strip Mall
The West Metro Fire-Rescue District is investigating a Crystal strip mall fire as a case of arson. The incident happened Nov. 26 in the 5600 block of 56th Avenue North, just down the street from the Crystal VFW.
Fire crews rushed to the scene at around 3 a.m. after a Crystal police officer smelled smoke.
“There was fire and smoke damage throughout that common corridor and there was smoke damage throughout the entire building,” said West Metro Fire Chief Sarah Larson.
There are cameras on the building, but Larson isn’t saying if authorities caught anyone on camera. Authorities also aren’t yet saying what type of substance was used to start the fire.
Business Owner: “It’s Overwhelming”
Saehea Turner is the owner of Change N Faces Barbers at the Crystal strip. Like other business owners leasing space in the building, her business is shut down due to the fire.
“Look at all these people who were affected behind this. It’s ridiculous and uncalled for,” Turner said. “It’s overwhelming.”
Turner says her four barbers and stylists are temporarily out of a job.
“They’ve reached out and just said they’re hurting,” said Turner.
A few doors down, the owner of Kuttin-Up Hair & Nails is trying to make sense of it all.
“I think it sucks. I think whoever did it doesn’t know the Lord,” said April Anderson.
Anderson has been in her space for nine years. Now the inside of her shop is covered in soot and 90 percent of items in the shop are destroyed. To make matters worse, the six workers who used to work at her business had to find other jobs.
“It didn’t not only hurt me, but it hurt my employees as well,” said Anderson.
Anderson plans to relocate to 3550 Douglas Drive in Crystal. She expects to be back in business by February.
Meanwhile, the West Metro Fire-Rescue District is asking anyone with information to give them a call or call the Arson Hotline at 1-800-723-2020.