SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (WDTN) — A barbershop which was favored by many in Springfield could rise from the ashes after burning down in a vehicle fire.
Every day since his business was destroyed, Randy Smoot has visited the parking lot off the 1800 block of South Limestone Street in Springfield.
“You had our barbershop and you had Metro PCS right next to it,” said Smoot, as he gazed at the pile of rubble where his store, Fresh Lines Barbershop, once stood.
The barbershop was a passion project for Smoot since he returned to his hometown of Springfield.
Nearly three years after getting his new business up and running, it was destroyed by fire on April 28.
“It was sickening honestly,” said Smoot. “When you see something you put that much hard work in and something that you know is really important, to see it just up in flames, it was just disheartening.”
Smoot got a call early that morning of the fire.
A friend told him a stolen van had crashed into the building and started a fire.
Fresh Lines Barbershop and the neighboring Metro PCS store were destroyed. Several other stores in the shopping district were temporarily closed because of smoke damage.
For Smoot, who works as a Clark County probation officer, losing the barbershop was difficult.
It hurt because he knew the community lost a place where people could come, relax, and be themselves.
“Pretty much anybody who wanted to get their hair cut, anybody who just wanted to come hang out, talk sports, talk politics could,” said Smoot. “It was more than a barbershop honestly.”
Days after the fire, the community began to rally behind its lost gathering place.
Within two days, a GoFundMe page set up online for the barbershop had raised more then $3,000 to help bring back Fresh Lines.
To thank the community, Smoot threw a picnic in front of the place where so many people would come relax, converse, and get haircut.
The outpouring of support has been all the motivation Smoot needs, he said, to keep investing in his hometown.
“We will eventually find another place,”said Smoot. “We will start over again. We’ll be back that’s for sure.”