Smoke and mirrors: upstairs fire forces barber to close

Larissa Chippett was enjoying her day off May 4 when she got a call from her employee.

Larissa Chippett was enjoying her day off May 4 when she got a call from her employee.

“Larissa, why didn’t you say to me there is renovation going on?” the employee asked Chippett, owner of Yukon Man Barber Shop on Third Avenue and Steele St.

Half the ceiling was gone — tiles and debris were spread all over the shop.

A fire in an apartment upstairs from the shop had started around 1:30 a.m. the night before.

Masaaki Yamaguchi, who lives in another apartment in the same building, said he heard the fire alarm going off.

“I opened the door, and there was a lot of smoke,” he said. “I didn’t know what was going on.”

Once outside Yamaguchi saw a man leaning on the side of the window from the unit where smoke was coming out.

The man was clearly incapacitated, probably by the smoke, Yamaguchi said.

Whitehorse city fire chief Kevin Lyslo confirmed a man had been taken to Whitehorse General Hospital after the fire department arrived.

Lylso told the News that when firefighters arrived on scene the man was still in his room and they had to remove him from the building.

“He inhaled a lot of smoke,” Lyslo said.

The cause of the fire is not known yet, he added. It’s not clear when Yukon Man while be able to reopen.

But Chippett said on May 3 her shop smelled like cigarettes and that she had to apologize to her customers.

“It looks like (the tenant) smoked constantly,” Chippett said. “The landlord said nobody is allowed to smoke in the apartments.”

The landlord, who wouldn’t give his name, confirmed to the News that there was some damage to the unit, mostly from smoke and water.

Firefighters also removed a mattress that was on fire. On the morning of May 4, a partially burned mattress was visible in the back alley behind the building.

Afterwards the firefirefighters went into the hairdresser and checked for water damage.

“They start to cover up and protect content from getting further damage,” Lyslo said.

Chippett, who had scheduled a trip to Vancouver May 5-7 for her seventh wedding anniversary, said the situation was “a little bit unpleasant.”

“It’s a big surprise what’s happening,” she said. “This is what happens when people are not responsible.”

Contact Pierre Chauvin at pierre.chauvin@yukon-news.com

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