Business owner vows to rebuild after fire

An intense fire ripped through a building in Jefferson City early Wednesday morning, destroying a business and several apartments. One firefighter called it the most intense fire in recent history in the Capital City.

The 9-1-1 call came in just before 5:30 a.m. for a blaze at the corner of West Main and Havana Streets. T he building housed the On-Stage Highlights Salon and three occupied apartments above it.

"Probably one of the worst exeriences I've ever had, hair salon owner Cathy McCartney-Ryherd said.

McCartney-Ryherd was sitting on the sidewalk across from what used to be her salon, watching her business get bulldozed.

"You put your whole life into something," McCartney-Ryherd said. "My family pictures were in there. My kids, my grandbaby. Just everything. And it's gone."

Investigators think lightning hit the building which caused the fire. Neighbors reported hearing a loud noise and then seeing flames.

Adam Lynch lives with his friend in the house behind the building that caught fire. Firefighters quickly told them to evacuate.

"I hollered at her, 'We gotta get out of the house, the beauty shop's on fire!, Lynch said.

They joined the rest of the neighbors already outside.

The intense heat caused part of the building to collapse while firefighters were inside, though no one were hurt. It took more than an hour and a half to fully knock down the flames.

"It took us quite awhile to bring it under control due to the spread of the fire, Jefferson City Fire Departmen spokeperson Jason Turner said.

"Thank God that no one was hurt, McCartney-Ryherd said. All three people that lived in the building were able to get out. Two firefighters though, some of the building was coming down on them and they got out, and I'm just thankful for that. Thankful for people helping people."

In the end, only a few bottles of shampoo and some pictures were salvaged from the salon. McCartney-Ryherd's clients and family members have been stopping by to offer their love and support. For now, that's enough.

"I am an M.S. survivor so this is isn't gonna get me down," McCartney-Ryherd said. "Losing a building isn't gonna stop me."

McCartney-Ryherd plans to continue her business in her home for the time-being. Her clients can reach her on her cell phone.

A number of businesses had called the destroyed building home.

For many years, it was a grocery store.