AUSTIN, Texas - At the beginning of June, two businesses in East Austin, Kane's Barbershop and Altatudes, received damage from a fire that erupted inside of the barbershop.
New documents released from the Austin Police Department now show the fires were "intentionally set."
The revelation comes from an open record request that shows fire investigators with the Austin Fire Department determined the "cause of the fire has been updated to intentionally set (Arson). Multiple points of origin inside business."
The fire was contained within Kane's Barbershop, however, from that fire, Altatudes sustained soot, water, and smoke damage.
Originally we were told by one of the business owners, it was a possibility the fire could have been electrical. Now that other possibilities are ruled out, the owner of Altatudes still has many questions.
"Who would do something like this especially to a small business owner with this two businesses were loss not just my business neighbors but my business was of course totaled because of this. you put your business and we don't have deep pockets like corporations and large business entities so what comes to my mind is who would do something like this? to somebody's livelihood to somebody's dream. evil to me comes to mind," Alta Alexander owner of Altatudes says.
The records also revealed that the total dollar loss is estimated at $45,000 for Kane's Barbershop while the damages for Altatudes remain undetermined. The owners say both businesses are total losses.
“Initially I was told someone had broken into Kane's then later I think there was some confusion. My camera didn't show anything nefarious, my business sustained heavy heavy smoke when I got to Altatudes, I couldn't even see inside my business it was completely smoked out, it was so big," said Alta Y. Alexander, owner of Altatudes.
The Huston-Tillotson graduate says returning to East Austin to start her own business that’s been running for two years has kept Altatudes thriving.
"I have very unique pieces I'm very proud of."
Alexander says the silver lining is the same community she loves so much is the same one pouring back into her. Friends and neighbors started a Go Fund Me page for Alta Alexander and Stephen Bass-Kane to help with recovery efforts, which has raised over $72,000 and is now closed to donations.
Alexander has also started a separate GoFundMe while she’s waiting for Insurance money to kick in to help ends meet.