DENHAM SPRINGS — When Domenique Guidry arrived at her hair salon, the flames hadn’t yet reached her business.
Then the explosions began.
“That’s when everything got real, real bad,” she said. “At first I thought maybe I’d be able to salvage something, but nuh-uh. It’s gone.”
Firefighters were called to Magnolia Respiratory & Medical Equipment on Florida Avenue around 10:45 a.m. Tuesday, said Denham Springs Fire Chief Melvin Wheat.
The cause of the fire is under investigation, but it was exacerbated by the explosions of four or five large oxygen tanks inside the medical supply store.
A cloud of smoke covered the area into the afternoon as crews worked for hours to extinguish the blaze. Florida Avenue traffic had to be rerouted.
The building which houses Magnolia and Guidry’s salon, House of Glam More, was reduced to rubble. Firefighters were able to keep the blaze from spreading to other buildings. No one was injured.
Guidry said the fire erupted before her salon opened.
Building owner Harold Davidson said an employee, business owner and customer were inside the medical supply store, but they saw smoke in a vent and were able to get out before the fire spread and the tanks blew up.
He is working with the tenants to find new locations for their businesses. For Guidry, it will mean starting over less than a year after opening at the ruined building.
“I put a lot of work and effort into this building,” she said. “It’s going to be hard to get all that back. … I’ve got to do just as good, or better.”