A March hair salon owner has been left counting the cost after her premises were gutted in what is believed to be an arson attack in the early hours of Thursday morning.
Charlotte Stonier did not have contents insurance on her Tangled Up salon in High Street and now friends and family have launched a Gofundme page with the aim of raising at least £2,000 to help get her back in business.
Meanwhile police have confirmed they are now investigating the blaze, which saw part of High Street closed while emergency services dealt with the incident.
Initially it was thought the fire, which was discovered at around 3.25am by police officers on patrol, had been caused accidentally.
However, on Friday morning a police spokesman confirmed they had launched an investigation following a tip-off from a member of the public.
The spokesman said: “It looks like we were contacted by a member of the public yesterday afternoon (Thursday) who gave information which suggests the fire may not have been accidental.
“A crime has been raised for arson and an investigation is being carried out. Anyone with information is asked to contact police by reporting online via www.cambs.police.uk/report, quoting CF0020270118 or call 101.”
Two fire crews from March and one from Chatteris were called to deal with the blaze which saw flames shoot through the roof of the single storey building.
They were on site for nearly three hours tackling the fire using hose reels and a jet.
Charlotte posted on Facebook on Thursday saying she had lost everything in the fire.
She posted: “End of an Era. My baby for four years! My beautiful, beautiful salon is now what once was my livelihood, is now gone. Within a matter of hours.
“This morning at 3.30 unfortunately the salon caught fire inside, no fault of my own.
“As you can see the salon is now out of use. Everything that I own from my scissors to my styling units are all gone. I will still be able to carry out some services mobile, but please bear with me as all of my products, tin foil, combs, brushes, bleach, towels and gowns were unfortunately inside.
“So depending on finances and trying to build my inventory back up, there may be some things I can’t do straight away. Please bear with me xxxx
“Every cloud has a silver lining and I truly believe this.”
Her sister Amy Stonier took to the social media site to launch a Gofundme appeal to help raise money to help Charlotte get back on her feet and within less than 22 hours a total of £450 had been donated.
Amy wrote: “This is a Gofundme page for my little sister Charlotte. Charlotte is 23 years old and the proud owner of a salon, Tangled Up.
“All of her belongings as well as salon things were in there. The salon is completely destroyed and at present unsafe to enter. This is her world, her business that she built up for the last four years.
“She has lost everything, including her qualification certificates, make up, hair tools, her business and her confidence. Unfortunately she had no contents insurance!
“She is now sat trying to think about how to rebuild her salon so any donation would be greatly appreciated and would mean the world to her.”