UPDATE: Two business owners affected by morning fire

By Gene Petriello - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A building fire is now under control, but now investigators are working to find a cause. At this point, we are told the fire is considered suspicious and there is $12,000 worth of damage to the two businesses affected.

This is all happened in the 1800 block of Fairmount Avenue, just off of Littlepage Avenue in the city's East End.

Philmore Moses is going through what's left of his Caribbean Grill catering business. But the building isn't on his mind. "The first thing I'm thinking of is taking care of my son. I don't have any source of income. This is all I do for a living," he said.

Philmore was in the process of getting the business insured. But, the fire ruined those plans and his business of eight years.

"It's very frustrating. I really don't know what to do or what to think right now. I'm just devastated," Moses said.

Fire investigators say the fire started in a storage area outside of the building. There were several propane tanks that fueled the fire. Luckily, there were no explosions.

But still, the fire spread to the Caribbean Grill. Despite the extensive damage, Philmore was able to save some of the cooking equipment and most of the contents of his two catering carts.

"I don't know if it was an accident or deliberate, but my son and I are feeling it," Moses said.

Also feeling the effects of the fire is Renard Harris, Jr. His family owns a barber shop attached to the Caribbean Grill.

"It's a lot right now. I have this fire and I just lost my father," Harris said.

The barber shop had some water damage and is closed for the time being.

Two different lives affected two different ways, in one fire. Yet, both know there's something to look forward to after it all.

"It's been a trying time but I'm not going to let it bring me down. I'm keeping my head up," Harris said.

"I can't stop and give up. I have to keep going," Moses said.

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