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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.