Early morning fire burns business to ashes

JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) – New video from the Jonesboro Police Department showed intense flames and explosions from a fire that destroyed a Jonesboro business early Wednesday morning.

Dozens of firefighters battled the blaze just around the corner from the Jonesboro Police Department, near the intersection of East Matthews and Caraway.

Kustom Kreations is a custom car shop owned by Lavelle Johnson and her family.

Johnson has worked hard to build his business from the ground up for the past 9 years, but after Wednesday’s tragedy, the lives of Johnson and his family have changed forever.

“You know why this happened, I was on the streets, but I’m not on the streets, so why did this happen,” Johnson said.

Fire crews were dispatched to a fully involved structure fire around 3:00 p.m. There were still cars inside the workshop at that time, but no one was inside the building.

Not only did Johnson and his family lose their business, but they also lost a companion they consider family to the fire.

“My dog ​​died here,” Johnson said. “We treated this dog like he was a member of the family,” Kustom Kreations employee Kaleb Valentine said.

Repairing cars is not just a career but a hobby for Valentine.

“It’s where I went every day from dawn to dusk,” Valentine said.

The shop may be a total loss, but Valentin isn’t backing down and letting that bump in the road slow him down.

“I go with the flow, and nothing stops me,” Valentine said.

Lavelle opened this business in 2013, saying it was his dream to open a custom car shop, so he did just that. After the fire, he was left with only one choice.

“I’m looking for another store now, that’s not going to stop me, I’m going to keep moving,” Johnson said.

According to the Jonesboro Fire Department, no cause has been determined and the fire is still under investigation.

We will post information about this tragic fire as it becomes available.