Arson fire guts beauty shop

By Chuck Weber email

PALM BEACH GARDENS, FL (WFLX)-Investigators say someone intentionally set a beauty shop on fire-- leaving the salon owner and her employees trying to find another place to work.

It happened at Salon Touchee', located in a shopping center on U.S. 1 near Palm Beach Gardens. Salon owner Nelcida Irizarry says an employee of a neighboring business saw someone trying to break in, in the middle of the night, and called police.

Palm Beach County Fire-Rescue spokesman Capt. Don Delucia says the shop's sprinkler system completely had put out the blaze by the time the first units arrived. Inside the shop, fire investigators say they found a flammable liquid.

"They put like a gasoline around that chair," said Irizarry, pointing to charred piece of furniture. Irizarry says her place has been broken into before, as have other businesses in the shopping center. She assumes kids are responsible. "Everybody's like a family here," said Irizarry. "Nobody has an enemy."

Berkis Hernandez showed up to cut hair, only to find her place of work in ruins. "It hurts me, because I've been here for a long time and I have my clients," said Hernandez, tears falling down her cheek.

Irizarry says she'll try to find places in other shops where she and the other employees can work.

Fire-Rescue and the Sheriff's Office are working the case jointly. Sheriff's spokeswoman Teri Barbera says the store's video surveillance equipment got wet, but investigators still hope to salvage images of the culprits.