INKSTER, Mich. – In 2019, a man destroyed five businesses in Inkster when he used jugs of gasoline to start a fire at a strip mall.
While that case has gone through the legal process, many of the businesses impacted by the arson were never able to recover.
Darrell Johnson owns the Fadeaway Barber & Beauty Salon and is relieved to be back in business after the fire.
“When it happened, it was tragic and I was broken up. I knew it wasn’t targeted towards me as for as my business. But, man it seems like it was just an idiotic situation,” Johnson said.
Surveillance video from Feb. 3, 2019 showed Nicholas Diedo allegedly using gallons of gasoline to ignite flames that engulfed multiple businesses. Police said Diedo was a serial arsonist who had a history of racially-motivated crimes against minority communities. Diedo is currently on probation.
Johnson was able to rebuild his barbershop just feet away from the old location, this time in the plaza next door.
“I was fortunate to find a spot right next to the location. I didn’t have to go far,” Johnson said.
The COVID pandemic was an obstacle in the way of Johnson’s business making a complete recovery. He lost all of his employees during the pandemic.
“The pandemic was a sucker punch. Wow, I just got back on my feet leaving from the fire, and then all of a sudden, the pandemic happened,” Johnson said.
The plaza that was set ablaze is currently being renovated and remodeled. Construction is expected to be done in the coming months.
Barbers interested in working at Johnson’s barbershop can contact him at 313-791-2887.