HAYTI HEIGHTS, MO (KFVS) - An early morning fire damaged three business in Hayti Heights, Missouri, Tuesday, March 19.
The Hayti and Caruthersville Fire Departments were called to the Old Turnage Wrecker buildings at 1501 W. Washington, just inside the Hayti Heights city limits, around 3:23 a.m.
Hayti crews say when they arrived the front buildings were engulfed in flames. That’s when they called the Caruthersville Fire Dept. for mutual aid.
According to the Hayti Fire Department, the buildings housed a mechanic shop, lounge and a barber shop where students got free back to school haircuts.
Owner Elijah Green gave Heartland News a tour of the charred destruction.
The metal building housed a mechanic shop, a lounge, and a barbershop where they gave students free back to school haircuts.
Green says he invested more than $200,000 of his own money into the building which he describes as a gathering place for the small community.
The building is a total loss and Green says they were not able to save anything inside.
“It’s the worse night I’ve had in a long time, and I’d seen all the fire engines and the building smoking," Green said. “Because this is my entire life savings. All the money we have made since we opened the door we put back in this building. The only thing I’ve got left is Social Security.”
Green does not have insurance but still hopes to rebuild the business.
He is thankful local firefighters were able to save the structure.
“It could have been a lot worse," he said. "They actually put the fire out. I’m so glad no one got hurt. That is first and foremost. All of the other stuff if secondary.”
Crews report the cause of the fire is undetermined.
The Missouri State Fire Marshall has been called.
The Pemiscot County Sheriff’s Department, Hayti Police and Medi One also assisted at the scene.