Fire at neighborhood barbershop

Donnell Davis, the owner of Hang Time Barbershop, stands in the doorway of his boarded-up shop following the fire. Photo by Tamieka Briscoe

BY TAMIEKA BRISCOE,   PHOTOS BY TAMIEKA BRISCOE AND WILL ALLEN-DUPRAW

Donnell Davis, the owner of Hang Time Barbershop located at 6908 4th Street, NW, received a phone call around 1 a.m. on Wednesday notifying him that the barber shop he has operated for over 12 years was in flames.

“We only expected to be out of commission until Friday at the latest, but restoration plans will keep the shop closed for 30 days,” Davis said, referring to a sign that had been posted on the door indicating that the shop would re-open on Friday. He then took the hand-written paper sign down.

Following the July 17 fire, the Hang Time Barbershop is boarded up.

Following the July 17 fire, the Hang Time Barbershop is temporarily boarded up. Photo by Will Allen-DuPraw.

The two-day turnaround prediction was premature, and quickly overturned when the building owner investigated the extensive damage to the room where the electrical fire broke out, and the soot damage to the walls throughout the entire shop.

Emergency call

Dane Edidi, works at SiTea Enchanting Teas & Treats located in the same block as Hang Time Barber Shop. While working late in the dance studio adjacent to the barber shop, the distinct smell of smoke startled Edidi who promptly called the fire department.

“Because we are so close to Montgomery County, the operator had to transfer me to the D.C. dispatcher,” Edidi said.

Call to the fire department came from an employee at SiTea Enchanting Teas & Treats, next to the barbershop.  Photo by Tamieka Briscoe

Call to the fire department came from an employee at SiTea Enchanting Teas & Treats, a store near the barbershop. Photo by Tamieka Briscoe

Once connected, the operator gave specific instructions to leave behind any personal belongings and to evacuate the studio at once. Edidi, who was working alone, said that the firefighters arrived quickly. To Edidi’s surprise, unlike most weeknights, none of the other business owners or employees had been working late.

Davis, who lives in Bowie, originally moved into the 4th Street storefront back in 1993. He had a total of five barbers. His business blossomed, and in 2000, he moved a few doors down to 6908. He now shares the space with 9 others as they render barbering and beauty services.

Temporary arrangements

The sudden fire temporarily displaced Davis and those that work in his shop, but by the end of Wednesday they put a plan into place.

Donnell Davis, the owner of Hang Time Barbershop. Photo by Tamieka Briscoe.

Donnell Davis, the owner of Hang Time Barbershop. Photo by Tamieka Briscoe.

Four of the barbers will go work with Mr. Price at Shepard Park Barber Shop on Georgia Avenue in Washington. Davis and another barber will set up shop next door in a friend’s nail salon. Lastly, the two female hairstylists will work out of their homes until the month-long renovation to the shop is completed.

Misha Parham, the owner of Sassy Nail Salon and Spa, has been at the storefront location for 11 years. She received a call from a representative of ADT, the alarm company at around 2 a.m. Wednesday morning. The representative warned her that there was a fire in her shop.

“They told me that the fire was at 6910.” Parham said.

She made the 45-minute drive from her Oxon Hill home and was only a tad relieved to find out that the fire was not in her establishment, but next door.

Community support

Later Wednesday, Parham offered Davis the use of what she calls her “waxing room.”

The waxing room is located in the back of the nail salon. It has two chairs that will be used as temporary workstations for Davis and another barber during the renovation period.

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A neighboring shop, Sassy Nail Salon and Spa, has offered some of its space to the temporarily-closed barbershop while repairs are made.Photo by Tamieka Briscoe.

In the meantime, Parham will direct customers desiring waxing services to the room where clients receive massages and facials.

Davis said that no monetary arrangements have been discussed with Price or Parham as of yet. He marveled that the support of the community has been tremendous.

“When the shop re-opens, I want to host a neighborhood appreciation day.” Davis said, and Edidi enthusiastically agreed.

Following the barbershop fire, Takoma DC 4th Street business district is now under the watchful eye of these two mysterious camels. Photo by Will Allen-DuPraw

Following the barbershop fire, Takoma DC 4th Street business district is now under the watchful eye of these two mysterious camels. Photo by Will Allen-DuPraw

About the Author

Tamieka Briscoe
Tamieka Briscoe, is a writer/journalist in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Communications with a concentration in Broadcast Journalism from Bowie State University. She is a mother of two, and is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Journalism at the University of Maryland.

4 Comments on "Fire at neighborhood barbershop"

  1. Ebony Fahie | July 20, 2013 at 4:20 pm |

    From the ashes, the Phoenix rises up and soars. May the 4th street business district and Hang Time Barbershop reach every imaginable height after the reopening. I applaud Ms. Parham for her kindness and generosity, especially in a time when charity is a deed often undervalued or unnoticed. Great article Ms. Briscoe.

  2. Eunia Kidd | July 20, 2013 at 5:42 pm |

    That was an amazingly write article!! Loved it very informative and inspirational story it is always wonderful to see a community of business owners come together to help one another!!! Wonderful story!! My prayers go out to Mr.Davis!!!

  3. Wanda Glenn | July 20, 2013 at 5:47 pm |

    Thanks for the very informative update on our local Barber shop Ms. Briscoe. Please keep us updated with the progress & re-opening.

  4. Nazarryo Dickerson | September 12, 2013 at 11:05 pm |

    Childhood friend of mine. Didn’t know about the fire, Praying you are up and running again and your shop is blessed 20 fold. Keep your head up my friend.

Comments are closed.