4 p.m., June 6)
torch Blackburn Hamlet dance studio
By Fred Sherwin
Dynamics owner Melissa Marshall and friend Lisa Pearson have been working day
and night to try and reopen the business after arsons set fire to the place on
Friday. Fred Sherwin/Photo
Marshall can hardly believe her misfortune. Sometime on Friday night, someone
broke into her Blackburn Hamlet dance studio and set fire to the place, completely
destroying the interior.
then she's been working around the clock with the help of volunteers to try and
reopen the business by next week.
dance studio caters to mainly local kids between the ages of three and 18. Marshall
doesn't make much money off the business and works at the local Tim Horton's to
make ends meet.
days after the fire, she still can't believe someone would try to destroy her
have our year end recital in two weeks and then our summer camp starts the second
week of July. For a lot of the kids, this is their second home. The studio has
helped turned their lives around. Whoever did this has tried to take that away
from them," says Marshall who is working on less than 16 hours sleep since
Marshall had no fire insurance and her landlord has been less than co-operative.
In fact, he told Marshall that he had sold the place on Friday and therefore he's
not responsible for any of the damage.
now Marshall is doing everything she can to get the studio up and running as soon
as possible. But once she's back in business she has a lot of questions she wants
instance, she assumed the fire detectors in the building were working. As it turns
out they weren't. She would also like to know how the culprit or culprits got
into her dance studio, because there were no signs of forced entry and the door
was locked when the firemen arrived.
had thought that the landlord changed the locks before she took possession of
the studio two years ago. As she's now come to learn, the landlord simply gave
her the same set of keys the former tenant was using which happened to be a pawn
bizarre twist is that whoever started the fire, left a fire extinguisher behind.
not sure if they brought it here intending to use if things got out of hand or
what," says Marshall.
answers to Marshall's questions will be up to the Ottawa police arson squad which
has launched a full investigation into incident. In the meantime, Marshall is
relying on the goodwill of friends and even complete strangers to get back on
her dancing feet.
put out an appeal through Innes Ward Coun. Rainer Bloess' office to anyone and
everyone who might be able to donate their time or materials to help fix the place
up. Monetary donations will also be accepted to help replace the dance floor.
To lend a hand or to simply make a contribution, call Melissa Marshall at 834-4518.
story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local
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