SANTA CLARA, Ore. (KMTR) -- Businesses in the Santa Clara Center reopened this week after an intentional fire was set nearby.
The arson happened Monday, August 13th. Eugene Police say someone set a dumpster on fire and pushed it up against the building at Don Juan's Mexican Restaurant. Another dumpster was set on fire at the nearby Shell gas station. When a Shell employee came out to look, the individual saw flames coming out of the neighboring business and called 911.
At least five business owners were called that morning notifying them of the fire including Marianne Slason, owner of the Santa Clara Smoke Shop.
Slason and her husband have had their shop open in that location for about a year.
"I got a call in the morning that there was a fire," Slason recalled. "They told me I needed to come down to the store. I got here at eight in the morning and there was still smoke in the store and everybody was running around."
That day, Slason knew it would be a while before the shop would reopen. It ended up being eight days.
"It was quite overwhelming," Slason told NewsSource 16.
ServPro, a cleanup and restoration crew, arrived that day and quickly got to work.
"They've been awesome," Slason said. "They came in and hand cleaned every piece of glass in our store. They wiped down all the walls. They've cleaned absolutely everything."
Because the business is family-owned, Slason said their work is their livelihood. The fire was not something they were ready for.
"We're all small family-owned businesses so this has been hard on everyone," she explained.
While cleaning crews continued their work, the Slasons took some of their glass pieces and went to Hemp Fest in Seattle to try and make some money in the meantime. Overall, she said they likely missed out on thousands of dollars, at least more than $5,000.
"But the back three businesses are open," she continued. "We welcome new customers and old customers back."
Next door, it's the same theory, hoping to regain customers after being out of business for one week.
"Our employees make money per haircut," explained the Santa Clara Barber Shop manager. "That's $11 dollars a haircut - it adds up."
Barbers in the shop were happy to be back on their feet Tuesday serving newcomers and regular customers. Some who have worked there for decades told NewsSource 16 in more than fifty years, never has the business been closed for that amount of time.
"I budget every dime I made," said Anne Eastman, one of the barbers. "When you're out a week, you lose that many days worth of income."
Eastman said she likely took a $600 hit within the last week. For some, that's a whole paycheck.
Inside of the Santa Clara Barber Shop, one can barely tell anything happened. Employees said most of the damage was smoke related and electrical.
"We kept giving people our business cards, saying call first to make sure we're open and then our phones were out," Eastman said.
In the front of the complex, ServPro has their dumpster full of things that couldn't be saved. Some business owners are afraid it's blocking their 'open' signs and want to get the word out that they are, in fact, ready to move forward from what they call a senseless act of violence.
"I just want everyone to start recouping. I love our customers. I want everyone to come back," said Eastman.
Don Juan's Mexican Restaurant and Shooters are not yet restored. The owners of Shooters told NewsSource 16 restoration has gone smoothly and they hope to be open Monday, August 27th.
Eugene Police have yet to identify or arrest a suspect.