Fire-gutted town salon re-opens

Linda Porter, Louisa Capewell, Kim Marabella and Jemma Masters of Shape have now reopened for business.
PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER NNL-161219-113922005
Linda Porter, Louisa Capewell, Kim Marabella and Jemma Masters of Shape have now reopened for business. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER NNL-161219-113922005

A Market Harborough hair stylists, completed gutted by fire in August, has just re-opened.

Shape Hairstyles, off Adam and Eve Street, was devastated by a blaze which started at about 8pm on August 3, caused by an electrical fault.

The fire was so fierce that three people and a pet cat had to be rescued from neighbouring flats by firefighters.

One nearby resident said: “I couldn’t leave my flat because the way out was blocked by the thickest, blackest smoke I’ve ever seen.”

Salon owner Linda Porter (62), who lives in Houghton on the Hill, said at the time: “I just collapsed when I saw what had happened. But we’ll be back!”

And this week she told the Mail: “It’s been a traumatic four months, but the salon is back and it’s beautiful.

“I’ve been amazed by the generosity and kindness of local people - my lovely staff, our customers, our builders WW Brown and Sons and the lovely people at Dynamic Hair Design who offered us the use of their salon immediately.”

Shape Hairstyles, which has been going for 42 years in the town, went largely mobile during the re-build.

Linda said: “We were insured, but the insurance only covers so much. We’ve added things over the years, and you just forget - so I had to put a fair bit of money in myself.

“That part - dealing with insurance companies and utilities - well, it’s been a big learning curve.

“But at the end of the day I love my job and love what I do, and I wasn’t ready to hang up my hat!”

Now Linda says she wants to work in her brand new salon “as long as I can, while people still want me”.

“It’s given us a new lease of life” she said, as she looked forward to the salon’s 50th anniversary. “You just get me a gold zimmer!”