Contents Pros Vs. The Arsonist

The arsonist snuck up to the hair salon’s front door around 3 A.M. and poured gasoline into the letterbox. Then he ignited it and walked away.

Burning plastics, resins and polymers leave an oily, greasy soot over everything in their path that requires restoration grade degreasers.

And most everything in the shop was plastic – chairs, counters, hair dryers. The fire starter probably figured that the little shop was finished. But he hadn’t counted on the arrival of the contents pros.

The fire occurred on Friday and the pros were onsite the same day. Some of them cleaned and inventoried all the individual items right then and there – discarding those articles that could not be saved, restoring those that could.

Others set about cleaning and deodorizing the walls and ceiling. Charred wood was cleared away, the restorable items were moved into an upstairs area. The contents specialists moved like a juggernaut through the apparently destroyed downstairs.

The contents pros managed to restore the carpet that had remained just out of reach of the flames and to re-create a reasonable facsimile of the original salon – that happened on the second day. There were four rooms that had suffered extensive damage.

Even so, by the third day the doors opened and loyal customers filed in, showing their support. It wasn’t so much “business as usual,” it was more like “business unusual,” but it worked.

The original owner had died 4 years earlier and she had passed the shop on to her two sons, who had made it into a local fixture for folks who didn’t want to (or couldn’t) travel out of town for their styling and haircut needs.

No one expected it to reopen so quickly, but no one had anticipated a team quite like the contents pros.

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