'It's my blood, sweat and tears': owner tells of salon fire despair
PUBLISHED: 18:29 04 February 2020 | UPDATED: 08:36 05 February 2020
An owner has been left heartbroken after her salon went up in flames just before its first anniversary of being in business.
A fire tore through Forever Enhanced beauty salon on Knowsley Road in Norwich at around 7.30am on Tuesday.
Fortunately the salon was closed and nobody was injured, although an entire room and hundreds of products were severely damaged.
Among destroyed products were LVL lashes, botox injections, hair oil and filler injections.
A fat-freezing machine - worth £18,000 - is also thought to be beyond repair.
Owner Charlene Gard, 36, from Norwich, said she was absolutely devastated when she received the news at home.
She was due to celebrate the salon's first birthday in April and had been planning a party.
Ms Gard said: "I was at home when I got a call saying 'your salon is on fire'. I just did not know what to think when I heard that other than focussing on getting to the salon as quickly as I could.
"When I got there and saw the damage, it was an out-of-body experience. It still doesn't really feel like I'm in my body as it is just so overwhelming.
"I have worked so hard for this salon - it really is my blood, sweat and tears - and now I don't know what is going to happen. I have just been crying all day thinking about it."
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Seven members of staff work self-employed at the salon and a new member was due to start on Monday.
Ms Gard said: "It is the girls I am most sorry about as they will be losing out while we get the salon back up and running. I am gutted for them and wish there was something I could do.
"We've had to tell the new girl to not come in on Monday as we won't be open, and we were all looking forward to her joining.
"The business had really taken off and we were always fully booked, with each of the girls seeing around 10-15 clients a day."
Ms Gard said the future of the salon was now unclear.
She added: "We obviously don't have any electricity so we can't do any work or repairs at all at the moment.
"It will take at least 15 days before that can be looked at and sorted. Until then, I have no idea when we can reopen or even the total extent of the damage.
"We are just trying to recover everything that we can."