MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — When WCCO viewers saw a popular north Minneapolis barber shop be destroyed by flames, they quickly stepped in to help out.

WCCO first met barber Shanard “Trevon” Ellis Friday night outside of Fade Factory on West Broadway Avenue, where he watched the barber shop he worked at burn.

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With the Minneapolis Fire Department overwhelmed and backlogged, it took hours for them to arrive.

“It just really hurts to see this place torched like this because my whole life revolved around this barber shop,” Ellis said. “We tried to like use the garden hose to put it out but it didn’t have much water pressure coming from one of the neighbors sinks. If they would’ve got here in the first 30 minutes, a lot of destruction could’ve been saved.”

The flames and destruction fueled something more positive. A fundraiser, started by a complete stranger, has raised nearly $50,000.

“He said he felt my story and it touched the community, so he started the GoFundMe, he made me the beneficiary,” Ellis said.

(credit: CBS)

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Ray James is the owner of the Fade Factory and its building.

“It’s been in our family for over 40 years,” James said. “I do have insurance. They’re giving me a hard time right now with the rioting.”

Both Ellis and James have lost so much, and they’re still deciding how to divvy up the generosity of the community.

“I said we should split it 50/50, so now we’re still at odds over that,” Ellis said.

James said he wants to rebuild.

“I want to let our legacy live on,” he said.

With millions being raised across the Twin Cities to help rebuild buildings, businesses and livelihoods, attorney Joe Tamburino says caution is nearly as important as generosity.

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“I think you’re going to see a number of them and here’s why. Eventually, all of this money will need to be parceled out,” Tamburino said.

But it’s that generosity that will help the buildings and people of the community rebuild

“It changed my life, and the owner actually gave me a break,” Ellis said. “When I came here, I looked at it as, yes, it’s a small business, but we can do big things.”

Here is the original fund Ellis and James are disputing over, and here is the fund started by James.

Erin Hassanzadeh

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