KINGWOOD, Texas – From the beginning it was a fast-moving fire and a longtime hair salon in Kingwood never had a chance.
Just before 6 p.m. Monday evening the salon on Loop 494 near Highway 59 and Sorters McClellan Road -- called A Hair Place burned quickly. Witnesses say they heard a loud pop -- then saw flames.
"Like a big old balloon popping," said Raul Pena, who was working next door at a mobile Goodwill Center. "I turned around and walked around the fence, saw smoke, flames, and the alarm goes off."
Abagayle Vallejo recorded video of the flames on her cell phone. She was working two businesses away at Nico's Place restaurant when someone came in and told her they saw the fire.
"It was hotter than I thought it would be. I didn't realize it would be so hot," Vallejo said. "I was standing right at that corner and I had to back up, I couldn't do it. It was scary though. I felt so bad for the people who owned the place."
A firefighter -- nearby on an unrelated traffic accident reported the fire and responded after he spotted the smoke. His unit quickly called a second alarm but by the time other crews arrived they decided to pull out of the building because conditions just got too dangerous.
"They tried to get to pull some of the ceiling down but a lot of the fire had made its way across the entire ceiling structure," Deputy Chief Blake White said. "The district chief went on location and they went defensive. They pulled their companies out."
"My prayers definitely go out to the people who own the place and work there," said Abagayle Vallejo.
The salon had been in operation since 1978. The current owners told Channel 2 they've owned the business for the past 17 years and are hoping to rebuild.?