ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Investigators are looking into what started an early morning fire at 518 Washington Avenue in Albany.
Firefighters were able to keep the flames from spreading to the upstairs apartment and neighboring buildings, but a well-known barber shop on the first floor was destroyed.
“It’s devastating, you know, it’s my life, it’s all I have,” said Raymond “RayLove” Estrella, owner.
Estrella has owned “Heads Up” Barber Shop on Washington Avenue in Albany for more than 15 years. His right-hand man Frankie Rivera has been cutting hair there for the last five.
“We do good business here. We’re good to the people and the people support us and when I saw that I just didn’t know what to do with myself,” said Frankie.
Friday morning their worlds were turned upsidedown.
“My kids said Chapo is at the door, he never comes to my house. He said hey, the barber shop. You’re not going to like what I’m going to tell you.
Firefighters say around 2:30 a.m. 911 calls flooded in from neighbors.
“From my angle, I seen everything live from window I seen all the sparks and everything fire shooting from the back,” Frankie explained.
Years of hard work and history destroyed.
“Everything, equipment, licenses, memories, the pictures on the wall are all gone,” they said.
They tell NEWS10 the first floor of 518 Washington Avenue has always been a barber shop. Estrella’s brother was the previous owner, when it was “Razor Rons” so this news hit him just as hard.
Fun fact: Jimmy Fallon had his hair cut there when it was “Razor Ron’s” and he was a student at Saint Rose.
“I go back to 1998, it goes further back, it’s a pillar, and it’s one of the first barber shops in Albany.”
But while they’re devastated, they’re determined to rebuild.
“As soon as we can get in we will rebuild…”
But in the meantime, it’s Friday and these barbers say it’s their busiest day of the week. There’s hair to be cut and money to be made, so they set up shop here at brother’s place “Sammy Styles” on the corner of Madison and Quail.
“I think that were blessed that we have family in this business that he can just come right over, it’s not a problem, and it ain’t over. ‘Heads Up’ never quits.”What others are clicking on: