Companies are pulling back the pieces and helping each other after Buckham Alley fire

FLINT, MI – Timothy Tyler was giving one of his clients a haircut when a fire broke out above his business.

He was determined to get the job done, so Tyler continued the outside service.

“I started on someone’s head, so I had to finish it and there was a guy waiting, so I finished it outside,” Tyler, co-owner of MagnifiClips, noted.

Shortly before 4 p.m. on Thursday, July 29, Flint firefighters responded to a report of a commercial structure fire that turned into a possible entrapment in the building directly adjacent to the Torch Bar and Grill in Buckham Alley, previously said Fire Battalion Chief Mark Kovach.

No one was injured in the fire.

It was discovered that the fire had started in an apartment on the top floor of the building, Kovach said. Residents of the building, including a downstairs resident in a wheelchair, were evacuated.

Several businesses also located in the building were affected by the incident.

Business owners continue to grapple with the aftermath of the fire, including water damage, smoke and soot.

MagnifilClips is one of those companies. The hair salon is located at 134 W. 2nd Street but is housed in the same building where the fire took place.

As Tyler was working on the day of the fire he started to smell smoke, but at the same time another barber was using a hair dryer so he assumed the smell was coming from the hair tool.

“And then when he cut it off and I still felt it five minutes later, that’s when someone told us we had to go,” he said.

On Thursday, August 5, Servpro workers were still cleaning up the few inches of water left in the barbershop by the extinguishing efforts.

Water soaked some of the workstations and thick smoke settled on the chairs, creating a foul odor. Tyler plans to file insurance claims for damaged workstations and chairs, he said.

“I was blessed because I thought it was going to be a lot worse than it was,” Tyler said. “It looked a lot worse than it was.”

The business is still open as cleanup efforts are underway, the hairstylist said.

Egypt Otis, owner of Comma Bookstore & Social Hub, said in an earlier MLive-The Flint Journal report that there had been some minor water damage to her store, but was grateful that no one was injured in the fire.

The Torch Bar & Grill, also located in Buckham Alley, was evacuated the day of the fire, but reopened a day later, according to a Facebook post.

Flint Trading Co., located at the corner of Buckham Alley and 2nd Street and above the Comma Bookstore & Social Hub, is another business that has been affected by the fire.

The new Flint Trading Co. is located on the second floor of this building located at 134 ½ W. Second Street and Buckham Alley in downtown Flint.

“It will be closed for at least a few weeks,” said Walter McAdow, owner and artist of Flint Trading Co.

The company suffered heavy smoke, soot and some water damage.

“We are in the cleaning phase and we are still assessing the condition of the artwork in the store,” McAdow said, adding that the soot is very corrosive and some tools are already rusting.

The company, a jewelry store and an art gallery, moved to the premises in November 2020 to expand its offering and gain more space.

“I removed the entire product,” McAdow said. “There are things that cannot be done for some of these works of art. There is a good chance that the jewelry will be fine, it is (the soot) corrosive to the jewelry too, but as long as I can do it I can clean it quite effectively. Other things … it’s too early to tell.

While his business will be closed for a few weeks, McAdow will not be able to work, so he will lose some income.

He said he is currently looking for multiple sources of financial assistance to get through the process.

“I have a lot of fires to put out between COVID and this,” McAdow said.

Comma Bookstore & Social Hub has scheduled a jewelry inspection and clean-up fundraiser to help raise funds for the art gallery.

The fundraising event takes place from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, August 9 at the Bookstore, 132 W. Second St.

Learn more about MLive:

No one was injured in the apartment fire in Flint’s Buckham Ally

Flint Trading Co. moves downtown and offers more event space

Flint Bookstore Opens with Focus on Black Authors and Culture


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